Council Enacts Sweeping Recycling Reforms & Clean Heating Oil Legislation

At today’s stated meeting, the City Council enacted a package of sweeping reforms to the way our city recycles.  The Council also passed a bill that will help improve our city’s air quality by lowering the sulfur content in the heating oil used by so many of the city’s buildings and increasing the utilization of biodiesel.  Additionally, the Council passed a resolution in support of a boycott of Arizona, in response to their immigration law, parts of which went into effect today.

Photo courtesy of Gothamist.

There were 11 separate pieces of legislation passed in the recycling package, one of which, introduced by Melissa, will require at least one annual event to be held in each borough for the collection of hazardous household products.  Other bills passed today includes one that will expand the city’s recycling of plastics, place more recycling bins in public places and improve recycling at our schools.  Click here for summaries of all of the recycling bills passed today.

Intro 194-A, also passed today, will improve our city’s air quality, by requiring that all heating oil used after October 1, 2012 contain at least 2 percent biodiesel fuel.  In New York City, more pollution comes from burning heating fuels than from vehicles or power plants.  In a neighborhood like East Harlem, with one of the highest asthma rates in the city, measures like this that reduce particulate matter in our air are critical.

On the day that the Arizona immigration law has gone into effect (though some of its most controversial parts have been put on hold by a judge), the Council also adopted a resolution that calls on all branches of government to engage in a boycott of Arizona.  Employees of the Council will no longer be able to travel to Arizona using public dollars.  Additionally, the Council will be filing an amicus brief in support of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the State of Arizona.

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