Petition for the Planet in Your State

The NYC Department of Sanitation recently suspended it’s $21 million organic composting program, as part of the Mayor’s COVID-19 related budget cuts for FY21.

There’s no question that controlling a pandemic supersedes quite a few other things that seemed like priorities just a month or two ago.

Still, it’s not hard to see why the loss of this arguably crucial, and hopeful initiative is a blow for environmentally concerned locals, young people in particular, who are watching the ground shake under their feet just as much as we adults are, and can’t be blamed for wondering just what kind of world they’re going to inherit now.

The city’s organic composting initiative outlined steps for reaching the city’s goal of achieving zero waste to landfills by 2030. To get there, DSNY developed programs to reduce waste as well as to separate and recover individual components of the waste stream.

According to a Politico article from January, DSNY collected 13,000 tons of organic waste out of the more than 1 million tons that were generated in 2017.

That’s 13,000 tons that didn’t go into landfills, where they can’t properly decompose, and due to the absence of light and oxygen, they produce methane, one of the biggest contributors to global warming.

So the program was working.

But still, is now really the time to be quibbling over which city programs get cut? Some would argue that programs like the organic composting program, shouldn’t be considered dispensable. The science is settled, after all.

Choosing to add your name to the NYC petition, or a similar petition in your state, is a personal matter. If you choose to join the NYC effort, you can sign the petition here.

If you’d like to be better prepared for similar budget cuts in your state, whether now or in the future, resources like change.org can help raise awareness for your cause. Check with your state or local government for policies specific to your state.