News & Politics

Watchdog: City Calls for Use of Illegal Rainforest Wood in Contract


In the interests of preserving the world’s rainforests, New York State Finance Law 165 names certain tropical hardwoods that can’t be used in state business. Among these woods is apitong, which comes from Malaysian old-growth rainforests.

But Rainforest Relief says they’ve noticed that a contract the Department of Sanitation has bid out — and for which they’ve already received proposals — specifies the use of apitong for the construction of flooring for flatbed trailers at its North Shore Marine Transfer Station. (See the middle of the second page.)

Rainforest Relief’s executive director Tim Keating tells us he’d like to “get the city off all tropical hardwood,” and has been fighting to get the applicable laws changed to that effect. (The Marine Transfer Station plans include lots of greenheart wood, which is technically legal but, Keating says, enormously unnecessary and wasteful.) In the meantime, they’re pressing the city to at least make sure the materials they specify for use aren’t overtly against the law.


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