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July 06, 2013

The stupidity of sustainability: part 13,934 -- Composting [CBD]

Composting is a wonderful thing if you have your own garden, or you are a farmer, or just enjoy keeping the organic detritus from your kitchen in a bin until it rots. But making it mandatory in an urban setting, as New York City seems to be planning, is a stunning waste of resources. A cursory examination of the cost of transporting compostable materials separately from other garbage will yield an unsustainable (without taxpayer subsidies) system. The value of compost plummets the farther it is from the soil into which it will be mixed, and it isn't very valuable to begin with. The last time I checked, there were no farms in NYC, other than the tiny vanity farms of the terminally hip.

So NYC is in the process of forcing restaurants and, ultimately, private citizens to separate their organics to be composted and sold or distributed to those who are worthy of the special and valuable compost from the Big Apple. This is in addition to the already ridiculous and expensive programs for separating recyclables, only one of which -- aluminum -- makes financial sense.

This is stupidity on a grand scale. New York's infrastructure is decaying, it's municipal services are mediocre at best, crime is rising, traffic is awful (thanks to Bloomberg's bike paths and other assorted anti-car nonsense), and the city is going to spend nonexistent resources on a program that will benefit....who?


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posted by Open Blogger at 10:57 AM

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