Big Apple "Voluntary" Composting Idea Stinks: Carries Health Risks, Says New York-Based Risk Expert
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.
[First published on JeffStier.org]