NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — In a far-reaching effort to limit its impact on the environment, the nation’s biggest city marked Earth Day by announcing a plan to reduce its waste output by 90 percent by 2030.
The “OneNYC” plan includes an overhaul of the city’s recycling program, incentives to reduce waste and tacit support for the City Council’s plan to dramatically reduce the use of plastic shopping bags. It was announced Wednesday by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“This is the blueprint for the future of New York City,” de Blasio said.
New York, with about 8.5 million residents, would be the largest city in the Western Hemisphere to adopt such a plan, which aims to reduce the amount of its waste by more than 3 million tons from its 2005 level of about 3.6 million tons.
“The average New Yorker throws out nearly 15 pounds of waste a week, adding up to millions upon millions of tons a year,” de Blasio said. “To be a truly sustainable city, we need to tackle this challenge head on.”
As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer found out Wednesday, the mayor is obsessed with composting. It started at the family home in Park Slope and was brought to City Hall and Gracie Mansion.
“I was an active, energetic composter and when I found others being less energetic I corrected them,” de Blasio said. “And I do that pretty much wherever I go. I’m known to do it at City Hall; I’m known to do that at office buildings when I’m visiting other people. I just get a little crazy when I see white paper in the trash can.”
Kramer asked the mayor why he has such a fixation on white paper.
“Because it shouldn’t be in the trash. It’s recyclable,” de Blasio said.
The waste reduction plan is part of an update to the sustainability project created by de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg. De Blasio is keeping its components but rebranding it OneNYC and widening its scope, linking it to the signature cause of his administration: combating income inequality.