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A proposed plan would make New Yorkers pay for trash pick-up

Will Gleason

One man’s trash is another man’s untapped revenue stream.

This past July, the New York City Department of Sanitation hired a Michigan-based firm to help them develop a “save as you throw program” that would encourage New Yorkers to recycle more and throw things away less. Part of that proposed plan? Taxes for trash pick-up.

“Why are we asking Michigan for advice?” you probably just thought to yourself while taking one last sip of your venti macchiato before throwing the empty cup into the middle of the street. Well, probably because things are looking increasingly dire on the ol’ respect-for-the-environment front in the Big (definitely not being composted) Apple.

The current recycling rate in New York is only about 17 percent. That’s not great. In fact, it’s about half the rate of other major US cities, with New Yorkers producing 12,000 tons of waste every day. The cost to the city for trash pick-up alone, according to CBS Local, is $300 million per year. That’s, like, three whole condos on 57th Street!

The Sanitation Department has yet to release exact figures, but other cities that have similar trash taxes charge homeowners around $40 a month, and the proposed program would hit single-family homeowners, renters and co-op and condo owners with the new fees.

A more detailed proposal is set to be released within the year.

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