New York City’s Garbage Crisis
How many times have we traveled to New York or any other city and compared its sights and sounds to our own cities past and present history? If I had to guess, I would say countless. If anyone has ever been or is planning to travel to New York, the first eye sore that you’ll notice is the amount of trash and garbage on the streets. A big problem has been what to do with all of the trash that just seemingly blows or sits around without being picked up. As you walk thru the streets of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, you will see mountains of trash bags in front of homes and business establishments. Not an eye catching site for such a big city with a storied past like New York. But how did New York encounter such a problem? The garbage issue has been in existence since “the first Dutch settlers arrived in what would become New York back in the 1880’s. At that time, “Seventy-Five percent of New York City’s waste was dumped into the Atlantic Ocean. In 1895, then Commissioner George Waring instituted a waste management plan that eliminated ocean dumping and mandated recycling. He devised a plan for the recycled garbage (notably household garbage) to be separated into three categories: food waste, which was steamed and compressed to eventually produce grease (for soap products) and fertilizer; rubbish, from which paper and other marketable materials were salvaged and ash which along with the non salable rubbish was land filled. The police department under the direction of Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt enforced the recycling law” (2009). Under this plan, the sheer tonnage of garbage that had to be dealt with was cut down and it also eased some of the environmental stress that ocean and river dumping caused. But the rise of the Tammany Hall political machine and the corruption and double-dealings that were taking place, killed Waring’s plan. Just before the end of the 19th century, as more and more people were...
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