NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The courts said no two years ago, but New York City is trying once again to ban Styrofoam containers.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, it all hinges on the question of whether polystyrene foam can be recycled – and the answer is not so simple. A judge decided two years ago that the answer was yes, but now the Sanitation Department has ruled that no, recycling is not viable.

Thus, businesses are not even allowed to possess Styrofoam starting in November.

Now, there are dueling City Council bills – one that would enshrine the new ban in law, and the other that would do the opposite.

“Why would we invest in something that makes you a profit?” Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal (D-6th) said to a representative to the world’s biggest foam container manufacturer.

The company said it wants to buy the city’s foam and recycle it.

“Invest in a product that perhaps doesn’t destroy the planet – why not invest there with our city dollars?” she said.

“Well, I think you’re starting for a biased standpoint,” the company representative said.

The earlier ban that was overturned was spearheaded by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and supported by current Mayor Bill de Blasio. It went into effect July 1, 2015, but the city had delayed penalties until the following year.

A New York Supreme Court judge overturned the ban in September 2015.


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