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“Garbage Revolution”: New York used a European method to clean its streets and ward off rat invasions

“Garbage Revolution”: New York used a European method to clean its streets and ward off rat invasions

New York uses European method to clean littered streets (CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP)

Mountains of black garbage bags occupy New York's sidewalks They will soon be history for the rats' feast. The city began introducing a tank system to clean the streets and starve the hordes of rodents.

This is the “trash revolution”., according to local authorities. Since the beginning of March, more than 200,000 food businesses are in need Containerization of over 3,000 million tonnes of waste They produce annually.

Residents will have until 2026 to adapt to the type of containers Inspired by cities like Paris, Madrid or Buenos AiresThe city began implementing a pilot program in Harlem in northern Manhattan.

With 150,000 parking spaces set aside for containers across the city, protests from residents who fear they will lose space for their cars may be watered down by the results.

“It's a change,” he says. Ron James, a Harlem resident. “Earlier, when I came at night, I often had to walk across the road to avoid rats on the pavement. “Now I don't see them.”He told the company AFP.

Large amounts of garbage also cause rat infestation on New York's streets (CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP)

In addition to seeing fewer rodents, the Dominican Maxwell RodriguezWhat he's most grateful for is that his community has stopped getting fines because “there are no more litter tracks on the street.”

The containers also prevent cleaners from ripping open the bags to remove cans or bottles, he said.

According to the city council, the 8.5 million people who don't sleep forever and the millions of tourists who visit every year produce about 20 million tons of waste daily, more than half from businesses.

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in a straight line, The ruins stretch over 43 kilometersIt is 8 kilometers more than the perimeter of Manhattan, according to officials.

Businesses have their own private collection system, while nearly 10,000 members of the city's health department are responsible for residential, school and hospital waste.

In one of the most populous cities on the planet, especially in Manhattan with more than 1.7 million people, most of whom live in high-rise buildings with no space between them, placing large containers capable of storing the effect of consumer frenzy. Its inhabitants – accustomed to use and throw away – seem like a complicated equation.

New York will begin using containers to dispose of the tons of garbage produced daily (CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP)

Dealing with this large amount of waste is “a big problem,” admits the Columbia University professor. Steven Cohen.

In practice, the only place to place containers is on sidewalks, taking up pedestrian space, or on roadways, further complicating traffic. In some blocks, officials predict that more than 25% of sidewalks will be occupied by containers.

The city should introduce trucks suitable for lifting and emptying containers. Till now collection is done manually, bag by bag.

The sanitation commissioner said these workers “deserve a remedy that protects their bodies” from injury, just as all New Yorkers “deserve a remedy that cleans their streets.” Jessica Dish.

Since the world's largest landfill on Staten Island closed in 2001, all of the city's trash has ended up in waste-to-energy facilities and a network of landfills hundreds of miles away in other states, such as North Carolina and South.

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“No one wants to be near a waste processing plant”Cohen reasoned.

The use of containers has been welcomed by some citizens but criticized by others (CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP)

Meanwhile, an expert in environmental sustainability principles is looking forward to a paradigm shift to turn garbage into the “new mine” with the help of artificial intelligence. So far “less than 10%” is recycled, he noted.

With less than 3% of organic waste being recycled, the city has already started implementing a plan to equip it with special compost containers, which will be mandatory from next year.

“All food waste is recycled into compost or an anaerobic digester, which turns it into methane or nitrogen fertilizer,” Cohen said.

“It takes time for people to learn other ways of doing things”, but despite the delay, “I think it can be achieved,” he said confidently. And he concluded: “A change this big, with a city this size, will take years to really see.”

(With information from AFP)