News & Politics

Mayor Bloomberg Toys With Charging for Trash Collection, Nothing is Off Limits

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Budget cuts: necessary stink, but potentially smellier if trash collection moves up on Bloomberg’s agenda to get our city back in the black. At a recent press conference, the mayor mentioned possibly charging residents for garbage collection as the city already does for restaurants and businesses, according to the Wall Street Journal.

New York spends $1.2 billion of its $64 billion annual budget discarding waste from residences, schools and nonprofits, according to the Journal. The city’s so far in the hole officials are now forced to renegotiate the way they handle standard city services.

Imagine the repercussions, besides the fact that the cost will inevitably come from you. Everyone has that cheap neighbor stockpiling recyclables for five cents a pop. That stronger-than-usual stench coming from his apartment? It’ll only get worse.

Trash collection fees have already been instituted in other cash-strapped cities. One example: this month, Paramus and Livingston, NJ both instated a rule that residents must drag their trash to the curb, instead of leaving it in their yard (at the risk of incurring a fine). Another one: a money crunch in Yonkers lead to once-a-week garbage removal, instead of twice a week, although that decision was reversed after resident/olfactory-elitist protests.

So, what’s the future for New York: Becoming a bunch of hoarders if charged to ditch our garbage? Or cash-stung citizens sucking it up (and breathing with their mouths) for the greater good?

[LM]