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Big Apple seeks to clean up its act for Earth Day 2015

“The average New Yorker throws out nearly 15 pounds of waste a week, adding up to millions upon millions of tons a year;” this according to a statement published by CBS News by New York mayor Bill di Blasio made to the Associated Press.

In what is being calling a “waste reduction plan” intended to overhaul the city’s recycling program and provide incentives to reduce waste, the mayor announced on Wednesday (Earth Day 2015) the city will aim to reduce waste output by 90 percent by the year 2030. This initiative is also part of the larger OneNYC Plan “for a strong and just city,” which addresses larger concerns of sustainability, infrastructure and other issues like healthcare and transportation.

The city has made previous strides to reduce waste, with waste production falling by 14 percent since 2005 as result of increased recycling, also according to CBS News’ report, but now the city is looking to become the Western Hemisphere’s cleanest city.

Of course, this environmental goal of the city is drawing both praise and criticism, reports The NY Times, as many people are asking the basic question of “how” in this 332-page report with over 200 new initiatives. Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, has suggested that “The de Blasio administration should quickly follow up with an implementation plan that includes funding sources, a timetable, baseline indicators to track progress, and an agency responsible for implementation.” Without basic blueprints, the questions will only keep coming as many people wonder how this is going to look for the nation’s largest city.

However; there are some logistic plans already in the works that include: expanding the current composting program from 100,000 homes to every household, reducing the amount of items sold that are not recyclable (which will include bans on food containers and packaging materials), and offering tax incentives to homeowners who take part in these efforts. These are ambitious plans, and time will only tell if the Big Apple can clean up its act by 2030, but at least the mayor and his city seem to be moving in the right direction.

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