New Yorkers create three pounds of garbage per person per day
Twelve years ago, New York City residents created nearly four pounds of garbage per person per day. It was broken down as follows:
27 percent thin pizza crusts
20 percent tourists
18 percent surliness
14 percent unused Mets tickets
11 percent lox
6 percent rejected New York Post headline ideas
4 percent ticker tape
Today, good news: The figure has declined to less than three pounds a day, about 12 ounces of which is recycled material. That’s an estimated drop from 32 million pounds of garbage a day to 25 million pounds.
Not that the city is all that happy about it. From The New York Times:
While that’s the lowest amount since at least 2000, the cost of collecting and disposing of the garbage has remained relatively constant, ranging from a low of about 70 cents [per person per day] in 2002 to a high of more than 80 cents in 2008. In 2012, the average cost per person daily was about 75 cents. The cost figures are all in 2012 dollars.
Refuse accounts for most of the garbage, but recycling, which is more expensive per pound, makes up nearly half the daily expenditure.
Click to embiggen.
Not only has the amount of garbage dropped, so has its number of components. According to an expert whose name we will make up if pressed, this is what comprises the city’s garbage now:
83 percent artisanal things of various kinds
17 percent rubble from Sandy
Some progress, anyway.
Philip Bump writes about the news for Gristmill. He also uses Twitter a whole lot.
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