Council Gives Go-Ahead to Scrap Recycling
By Robin Jovanovich
After a special workshop and lengthy discussion and presentations at several regular meetings, the City Council unanimously approved a six-month pilot scrap recycling program.
Before calling for a vote on the resolution at its November 28 meeting, Mayor Josh Cohn reiterated his long-term questions. “The environmental economics of the program are incredibly complex. What’s the carbon footprint of adding another weekly DPW pickup? How are we going to manage the transportation costs to Ulster County?” (The current cost is $70 a ton.) The Mayor added, “An in-County facility would be huge.”
City Councilmember Sara Goddard noted that the program is supported by a NYSERDA grant, based on its Clean Energy Community designation, and a willing number of participants. Goddard, who chaired the Sustainability Committee for several years and put together the City’s Sustainability Plan, added, “The actual cost of the program won’t be known until the City tests it out. We have financing and demand and the head of DPW says we can do this. In terms of the environmental impact, Rye is less than six square miles and these programs have been initiated across the country with significant success.”
Councilmember Danielle Tagger-Epstein volunteered to look into the carbon footprint questions.
A full-fledged supporter of composting, Councilmember Julie Souza’s preference would have been to start off with just a drop-off program. “We’re putting a diesel truck out on a separate day, which seems incrementally worse.”
The Mayor concluded by saying that he is for the full test “because it’s small and finite enough.”
Pickup will be limited to 150 households, each of which will pay a $26 fee for a kit. An accompanying drop-off location will be added.