NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We’ve all smelled the city streets in the summer, it’s an eau du garbage and the Department of Sanitation is looking for ways to reduce and recycle — one of which is ‘save as you throw.’
The idea is, if you have extra trash, you would pay extra cash.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, residents on Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg are doing their part to go green on recycling pickup days.
But the city sanitation department thinks some neighborhoods could do better, and it’s considering many ideas including charging New Yorkers for regular garbage pick up to encourage them to recycle.
“I’m fully against it, I think that’s insane,” Aubree Lennon said.
Right now, New Yorkers recycle 17 percent of their total garbage — it’s a slight improvement over the last few years. Environmentalists said that’s only about half of what could be recycled under the sanitation department’s current program.
That’s why Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said the city will be working with an outside consultant to develop a ‘save as you throw’ program.
“Where you’d save money if you put more of your material in the recycle bin,” Garcia said, “We do know that people are incentivized by financial decisions.”
One idea to encourage people to separate their trash comes from city councilman Antonio Reynoso, chairman of the council’s Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Committee.
His pitch; charge residents for regular garbage pickup, and assign each house a standard garbage allowance. Anyone who exceeds that limit would be penalized with a fee.
“It might work, I don’t know if people are going to go for the paying idea. But that may be the only way to get them to do it,” Patricia Murphy said.
Some New Yorkers worry potential garbage rules will create policing problems.
“It sounds like some of those possible ideas are ridiculous,” Dale Gladstone added.
Some said adding more recycle bins and more than one weekly recycling pick up day could be the simplest solution of all.