Energy & Environment

Big Apple “voluntary” composting idea stinks

Big Apple “voluntary” composting idea stinks

Mayor Bloomberg is planning on creating a “voluntary” composting program that will eventually become mandatory, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

“This is a rotten idea for the Big Apple,”says Jeff Stier, the New York City-based Director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Risk Analysis Division. The National Center for Public Policy Research supports voluntary composting.

“In fact,” says Stier, “we already have voluntary composting where residents can send their kitchen scraps to gardens around the five boroughs.”

So why the need for a new program? A Bloomberg official admitted to the New York Times that while initially voluntary, the goal is to require all residents of the city to save their kitchen scraps for a government-administered composting program. Those who don’t compost would be subject to fines.

“We live in a big city, not on a farm, and while composting is a great idea in certain circumstances,” says Stier, “it doesn’t make sense to mandate that all New York residents save their rotting food.”

Stier says the Mayor’s view is skewed in favor of anything labeled “green.”

“If the mayor applied his risk-averse trans-fat banning, soda-size limiting science to the risks of composting in NYC he wouldn’t be making it mandatory, he’d be banning it,” exclaims Stier. “Consider the increased risks from disease-carrying vermin (a problem the city still hasn’t conquered), from all of the pre-compost material sitting around our dense living spaces, not going out with the trash each night,” says Stier.

Stier wonders why Nanny Bloomberg isn’t worried about greenhouse gas emissions from the extra “compost trucks” that’ll have to be deployed. “Perhaps they’ll be carrot-peel powered,” chides Stier. “There’s no way food scraps can be picked up from every home throughout the city without greatly increasing the number of trucks, traffic, and tyranny.”

Mayor Bloomberg has banned smoking and trans fats from New York bars and restaurants, required calorie counts on restaurant menus, banned smoking in city plazas, parks and beaches, and banned private food donations to city homeless shelters in an effort to monitor the fat, salt and fiber content of foods eaten by the homeless, a story broken by Stier’s reporting.

(This article appeared on

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  • Lindarosemary

    I can smell the city now…………..should they mandate saving scraps. It will stink to high heaven, (the city already stinks of carbon monoxide) and there will be disease outbreaks, major problems with rodents, and insects. And you CANNOT COMPOSTE PROTEIN. Saving protein scraps would be an even bigger disaster. Even if they have a central place in their buildings to save this stuff; it will draw all manner of nasty things.
    New York City already has trash pick up problems. Imagine this stuff sitting around days or weeks on end! ThisBut it seesm the sustainability is not a good idea.

    These sustainability programs mandated by the crazy liberal loons like Bloomie; are rarely thought out as to the impact they have on humans and animals alike.

  • GeorgeStGeorge

    FYI, carbon monoxide is odorless. If the odor you mean is that of vehicle exhaust, that’s partially-oxidized hydrocarbons (aldehydes, etc.) and maybe sulfur dioxide (though most fuels are essentially sulfur-free these days).

  • aemoreira81

    A program in which you are required to maintain the material yourself like this should never become mandatory. At least with recycling, your goods are picked up periodically.


    WHEN ARE NEW YORKERS going to CAN this damned fool whose brain has long been COMPOSTED!!!!

  • machodog

    You New Yorkers look really stupid to the rest of the nation as a rule, and if you let old Bloomberg get away with the malarkey he’s trying you’ll deserve him and look even stupider…if that’s really possible.

  • Wumingren

    Some people don’t generate kitchen scraps. How are they going to differentiate the non cooks who eat nothing but prepared meals (whether from freezer to table or from fast food or fine-dining restaurants) and the folks who cook at home from scratch?

    It is interesting that my city has a mandatory garbage and recycling program that can garner fines from residents who don’t put out a garbage can once a week and a recycle bin once every two weeks. The fact is that we have so honed our shopping priorities that we fill the recycle bin once a week and the garbage can only gets half full in a week’s time. There are times when I have no garbage at all in my garbage can, and only recyclables in it because the recycle bin is full.

    There has been talk of fining people who put recyclables in their garbage can. So, to avoid fines, I have to be very careful to flatten every recyclable so I can get as much as possible into the recycle bin. Soon, I will have to put an empty garbage can out to the curb, just to avoid a fine, even though it wastes the garbage haulers time to have to stop and dump an empty bin.

    As for my question above, perhaps the nanny state will take one’s lack of compostables as a sign that they are not eating right and fine them for that, too!

    Liberals can’t just leave people alone!

  • Wumingren

    Compost piles attract vermin, from rats to raccoons, so I guess the rat problems will intensify in New York. I guess it might as well, considering the rest of the DemocRATS that already run rampant in the streets.

    And another thing, I’ve tried composting, but it is a lot of work, and it smells. I am a good neighbor, so I wouldn’t dream of composting in the suburbs where I now live.

    If cow pharts are bad, imagine the methane released by millions of compost piles in neighborhoods. And just how is this supposed to work for people in high-rise apartment buildings?

    Well, I suppose the city would have people provide their compostable materials for delivery (for a fee) to a mob-owned composting company that hauls it all out to some composting site on the edge of town. The mob will then force the city to purchase the finished compost (at unreasonably high prices) to be spread by union labor in all the city parks.

    So now, people will have three bins on the curb each week: one for compostables, one for recyclables, and one for stuff that can’t be composted or recycled. Composting is good for certain things only, which means no meat scraps, bones, or pet excrement, among other undesirables. You can’t just toss everything into the pile. Watch for heavy fines to accrue to those who don’t get the right stuff into the right bins!

  • Concerned4America

    It could be worse. When I read the headline I thought he was planning a compost pit in every apartment. Well maybe not, he only wants a rat family in every apartment.

    Putting on my supper sensitive left hat for a moment I could not help but notice the banner in the back ground. Shades of Obama 2012.

  • globalcrap

    You’ll have more bugs, and rats running loose on the streets of New York, with Goonburges slop sitting on the curbs for the garbage man. Then again look what king of O Bogus RAT is running New York. What ever happened to the people of New York ? You all can’t have a O Bogus Goonburge mentality.

  • Rich

    Stier and all these negative posters know nothing about composting and the logistics of collection of food scraps and other compostables. A good system mitigates the potential for vermin and vectors better than the existing one of simply throwing everything in a bag and dumpster. When you separate items for recycling and composting there is really almost nothing left that can be considered “garbage.” So your garbage can no longer smells and doesn’t have to be put down the chute everyday. The food scraps (you know, that disgusting, rotten, rat-attracking stuff that moments before was actually on your dinner table and being put into your mouth), can be kept in a bag or container in your freezer until weekly collection. If you don’t generate food scraps, you won’t get fined for not putting them out. And if you do, you won’t need to rent a farm tractor and try to fit it into your apartment to turn compost piles made from all of that rotten food Bloomberg mandates you keep from the garbage bin. Compostables can be collected in the same trucks as recyclables and garbage, and there are vehicles that can collect two or three separate materials at the same time, so it doesn’t necessarily translate into more truck traffic. Lots of cities already have this three-bin system and it works quite well. Composting also creates more jobs than landfilling and helps preserve local agriculture. I don’t know about you but I don’t want my fruits and vegetables coming from China. This isn’t liberal lefty stuff here. It’s about the health of people, the economy and the environment. If anyone has a problem understanding that, it’s due to pure ignorance.

  • Niniane

    LOL. Bloomberg has lost it! Too many hallucinogenic mushrooms in his salads, I suppose. And now the city has to produce collection buckets in every language on earth telling the folks what they can and cannot put into the composting bin.
    The mayor must be spending money like mad as “Those who don’t compost would be subject to fines.” And if you live in a NYC high rise, how the crap will they know you haven’t been composting?

  • 2richard1

    Mayor is right in a lot of ways he has boundaries and thats why New York is in such great shape today as opposed to some of these generic mayors New York has had that weren’t worth a damn. Its the earthworm philosophy if everyone had an earthworm bed providing mulch for growing flowers their own gardens they’d all be more self sufficient should disaster strike of one sort or another. The reason the bee die off is occurring is because of pesticides if those areas had organic earthworm farming the bee population would have been saved.

  • FlyoverMike
  • Guest

    Sorry about the double post above. Totally unintentional.