MANHATTAN — New York’s recycling rate has dropped significantly over the past five years, even as the Bloomberg administration tried to define the city as a leader in green.
As part of its environmental blueprint, plaNYC, the Bloomberg administration has set a goal of doubling the amount of waste diverted from landfills by 2017.
But numbers show that the proportion of waste being recycled has been steadily sliding, falling from a high of 19 percent in 2002, to just 15 percent in 2011 — far behind other green-minded cities like Seattle, with a recycling rate of nearly 54 percent; Portland, Oregon, with a rate of nearly 60 percent; and San Francisco, which achieved a record-setting 77 percent diversion rate in 2009.
Even if the city achieves its goal, it will still lag behind the national average rate of 34.1 percent — not to mention countries like Slovenia and France, which divert 37 percent and 68 percent of their waste away from landfills, respectively, according to European Union figures.
Just like the NYPD crime figures are phony, just as the NYCDOE graduation rates and test scores are phony, the myth of Bloomberg as the nation's "Environmental Mayor" is phony too.
The city actually recycled more BEFORE Bloomberg became mayor.
I have said this before, I will say this again - when a true independent history of Bloomberg's New York is written by somebody who is NOT on Bloomberg's payroll or NOT hoping to get on that payroll soon, all the mythology of the time will fall away:
Bloomberg as fiscal genius.
Bloomberg as the Education Mayor.
Bloomberg as the Mayor of the Safest Big City On Earth.
Bloomberg as Environmentalist.