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New York City Produces Less Trash, But Costs Remain the Same


Trash Barge in New York CityTrash, a common sight in New York City, is actually not nearly as common as in decades earlier. Still, garbage trucks by the hundreds daily haul out tons of the stuff. Of course, this is normal in a city of 11+ million residents.

Compared to the year 2000, actually, New Yorkers are producing about a pound less per capita, or a little less than two pounds per day 2011. Recyclable trash is also dropping, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that The Big Apple is avoiding the practice.

Doug Turetsky, a spokesman for New York’s Independent Budget Office, mentioned, “Paper is going down, especially newspapers. Plastics have become lighter, so there are less pounds recycling.” As it turns out, New Yorkers are simply buying less recyclable material.

Newspapers are going digital, offices are going paperless, many companies are reducing the plastic content in bottles and other containers, which reduces the amount that needs to be recycled after use.

What hasn’t changed, though, is the 70¢-per-person that it costs to take out the trash. Even though trash production has dropped, this decreased has been offset by the increase in fuel prices and other factors. Waste management companies in New York need to think about investing in new technology or revise their logistics if they’re going to cut costs from being the most expensive in the nation.

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