The city of New York is drowning and burning under the weight of its trash. Brian Dawson is a sanitation worker for the city. He witnessed a trash barge burning as it moved through the water. The fire was so hot that nothing that the workers did would work at putting the fire out.
Dawson jumped into action and was able to get the barge released from the ship and pushed out into the water before it exploded into flames. Sixty firefighters would spend the next six hours fighting the fire. Several sanitation workers ended up in the hospital because of the smoke.
It was determined that a lithium-ion battery was the reason the fire started. The fire was one of many that would plague the city. The Sims Municipal Recycling facility has had several such fires in recent days. And it looks like it is only going to get worse.
Liberal city leaders are to blame for the cut in the recycling budget, forcing many people to toss their batteries into the trash can. The facilities cannot recycle the batteries without proper methods and funding. The consumer cannot have the batteries at home because they pose a problem. The simple way is for them to toss them in the trash can.
The cut in funding has kept the sanitation department from being able to handle the batteries safely. The Democrats want to control everything and do things their way, but they never think through the consequences of their choices. They need to let businesses develop safe ways of recycling ion batteries. But they think they have all the answers, leading to massive fires breaking out in New York City.
The liberal city leaders are demanding that the state government regulate the use of such batteries. But over-regulation has never been a viable means of solving a problem. All it does is stifle development and growth because the Democrats refuse to let companies expand and develop new ways of handling recycling issues.
Eric Goldstein is the New York City environment director for Natural Resources Defense Council. He stated, “We know that the e-waste problem is not yet solved. These are poisons that should not find their way into our air, our water or be left haphazardly on our sidewalks or dumped unceremoniously and illegally.”
The state, at one time, had passed a law that required businesses to collect e-waste and send it to a suitable facility to be recycled. But when the state cut the budget, those facilities could not continue to accept the ion-batteries, and they stopped taking them. So, people did what needed to be done and tossed them into the trash can.
The short-sightedness of the Democratic leaders has led to over-regulating recycling. They have not even made an effort to keep their social laws updated to handle the growth of new technologies. Batteries are just about in every toy sold in stores. The Democrats need to cut out and let industry lead the way to better recycling methods.
Bridget Anderson is the deputy commissioner of recycling and sustainability. She stated that “The [state Department of Environmental Conservation] can clarify and strengthen the interpretation of what the obligations are for producers for the existing covered materials. Those are the things that we’re pushing at the state level.” She stated that the problem is being pushed around, so they do not have to deal with it. And in the meantime, men and women are actively putting their lives on the line to put out fires that would ravage the city.
The Democrats have to realize that people will recycle more if the effort is made easy. Once they take away the pathway to clean recycling by cutting the budget or over-regulating things, people will toss items in the trash. City officials need to let the corporations develop better ways of recycling, and that can only be done when they get out of the way and let business happen.