The Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) under review today presents some noteworthy opportunities. For instance, we are pleased that the city is choosing to utilize multi-modal transportation networks in its SWMP. Environmental Defense found that 80 percent of the waste handled by private waste transfer stations goes to four of the city's 59 community board districts. Asthma rates skyrocketed in areas where the stations were concentrated, a health effect linked directly to the garbage truck traffic. It is critical that the SWMP integrates multi-model strategies to reduce environmental burdens in New York City.
NYC Apollo recently launched its Ten Point Plan for a Strong Economy and a Healthy City where zero waste was identified as a key component of a "green collar" job creation strategy. By reusing, remanufacturing, and recycling existing materials, a zero waste policy would spur a new green manufacturing sector and prime the pump for a generation of family sustaining jobs. The Community Service Society's report that approximately 50 percent of African American men in New York City are unemployed underscores the need to develop a comprehensive job creation strategy and effective, targeted job training programs.