However, as of December 1st, new legislation will require New Yorkers to recycle rechargeable batteries.
Mayor Bloomberg has, in the past, lifted recycling requirements for all manner of items including DVDs, and proposed a disposable EZ Pass so people who think that their government actually gives a damn where they go will be willing to use it. Finally a law looms that might put the interests of the Earth above those of businesses and paranoiacs.
Bloomberg is a classic businessman: he’s capable of doing some long-range planning, but narrow enough not to recognize the value of minimizing the human impact on the world. The effects of an increasing population will catch up with our economy in brutal fashion if we’re not willing to inconvenience ourselves now to avert it. Making recycling of batteries a requirement (and, thankfully, one that’s not too difficult to fulfill) is a good step, but there are a few others that he could consider.
Recycling could be expanded to include many more forms of materials. Anything that can be incinerated can be recycled. The problem is economic: for many items it’s just cheaper to make it new. If the City itself were to use recycled materials it would tip the economic scales in the right direction.
Composting would be another wonderful focus for new NYC legislation. If residents had the opportunity to have compostables picked up they would be able to reduce solid waste by an astounding percentage. The volume of compost would not be the issue that other solid waste is, since you can find ways to use it.