Mr Bill de Blasio recently introduced a ‘Zero Waste’ plan where New York City will aim to reduce all of its solid waste by 90% by 2030.
According to the ‘One New York’ report the average New Yorker throws out nearly 15 pounds of waste at home and another 9 pounds of waste at work and in commercial establishments with a potential valuable resource content included.
Previous recycling exercises in particular curbside recycling programs aimed to divert materials such as paper, metal, plastic and glass from the refuse stream, however only managed to achieve up to 15.4% diversion rate, calling for a better plan to be put in place as there is still too much waste being sent to landfill.
‘Zero Waste’ plan to reduce MSW to Landfill
The ‘One NYC’ report details several initiatives that will be in place to help achiever Zero Waste by 2030.
1. Expand the New York City Organics program to serve all New Yorkers by the end of 2018
2. Enhance the city’s curbside recycling program by offering single-stream recycling by 2020
3. Reduce the use of plastic bags and other non-compostable waste
4. Give every New Yorker the opportunity to recycle and reduce waste, including at NYCHA housing
5. Make all schools Zero Waste Schools
6. Expand opportunities to reuse and recycle textiles and electronic waste
7. Develop an equitable blueprint to reduce waste
8. Reduce commercial waste disposal by 2030
Alongside these initiatives, to achieve Zero Waste to landfill by 2030 inevitably further processing of the waste streams will be required. The initiatives in place may drive people to participate in recycling exercises but there will always be a high percentage of waste in a variety of streams that will require separation. In particular MSW consists of everyday items we use such as product packaging, grass cuttings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances and batteries, waste which is impossible to be deposited as single waste streams.
MSW waste is commonly recycled for use in renewable energy in particular RDF, Refuse derived fuel. The Ecohog Windshifter separates the MSW waste based on a concept of density separating, light from heavy materials. The Windshifter technology has been designed to achieve a high quality output material, perfect for further processing for RDF.
MSW also contains a considerable metal content and therefore maximising the separation of metals has real momentary incentives. The HogMag Eddy Current Separator is specifically designed for the removal of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals such as steel and iron as less expensive but are generally recovered in higher quantities thus can be worth thousands dependant on quantity. Non-ferrous metals like copper, stainless steel, aluminium and brass are higher priced commodities making them the more superior metals to be recovered. Non-ferrous metal rates tend to fluctuate more than ferrous metals so there is money to be made within this market.
Aside from the monetary benefits associated with recovery and recycling of waste, the New York has set objectives to achieve a sustainable city to help fight against climate change and to create a healthier environment that will be passed on to future generations. The ‘One New York’ strategy highlights the importance of reusing, recovering and recycling but to achieve the Zero Waste to Landfill investments will need to be made into equipment to enable these targets to be met.