Fat of the Land: Garbage in New York: The Last Two Hundred Years

By Benjamin Miller | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
Hauling Biomass

The victory was Pyrrhic.

It was not the reason that David Dinkins lost his campaign for re-election to his old rival, Rudy Giuliani—his ineffectual management of the racially charged aftermath of a hit-and-run accident in Crown Heights, Brooklyn was generally considered the most decisive issue—but neither did it help. Once in office, Giuliani lost no time in dismantling the house of cards that had been slapped together in the hectic rush to buy off the City Council (" Clean, Courageous Politics," the Times had called it). In the new mayor's first executive budget, delivered to the City Council a month after his entry into office, few of the promises exacted in the final hours of the waste plan showdown ("one of the greatest victories this city has seen in a long time," David Dinkins had called it) remained. Gone were the millions that were to have been handed to the borough presidents to hire "public education coordinators" to exhort the citizenry to greater levels of recycling, to test the recycling of material from mixed-waste garbage trucks in all five boroughs, and to expand the advertising campaigns designed to prevent waste. Gone, too, were more important capital-budget commitments, such as the promise to build a pilot facility to compost food waste collected from institutional kitchens, and to build six materials-recovery plants to process the recyclable materials that were supposed to have been collected. Not that it much mattered any more: by the time the budget was finalized in June the basic recycling-collection budget itself had been cut, none of the additional materials identified in the waste management plan for recycling were being collected, and collection frequency had been reduced from an already lean once a week to twice a month.

Nor did the now infamous incinerator itself fare much better. Despite the pledge Emily Lloyd had made about waiting to build the Navy Yard plant until her department was running a full-scale recycling program everywhere

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Fat of the Land: Garbage in New York: The Last Two Hundred Years
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Fat of the Land - Garbage in New York the Last Two Hundred Years *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Chronology xiii
  • Prologue Garbarge *
  • Part I - Engineering Reform *
  • Chapter 1 - The Greatest Happiness *
  • Chapter 2 - Grease *
  • Part II - Expanding Opportunities *
  • Chapter 3 - Friends *
  • Chapter 4 - Enemies *
  • Part III - Public Work *
  • Chapter 5 - Roads and Rails *
  • Chapter 6 - Bridges and Tunnels *
  • Chapter 7 - Parks and Parkways *
  • Chapter 8 - Ports and Airports *
  • Part IV - Landscape Sculpture *
  • Chapter 9 - Citizens and Scientists *
  • Chapter 10 - Taking Heat *
  • Chapter 11 - Two Paths *
  • Chapter 12 - Waste Management *
  • Chapter 13 - Hauling Biomass *
  • Epilogue - Pee-Yew Choo Choo *
  • Notes *
  • Illustration Credits *
  • Index *
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