The Physics
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Mass of Trash Produced by New York City

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Fact Sheet. Department of Sanitation, NYC. 1998. "Today the Department is the world's largest, collecting and transporting over 13,000 tons -- 26,400,000 pounds -- of residential and institutional refuse and recycleables a day." 1.2 × 107 kg
(per day)
Bradley, James. Garbage Wars.City Limits. January 1998. "Before the next mayor moves into Gracie Mansion, the city will have to find a new home for the 13,000 tons of residential trash New Yorkers discard every day." 1.2 × 107 kg
(per day)
Potential Role for Composting. Cornell Waste Management Institute. Cornell University, August 1998. "The total amount of solid waste generated in New York has decreased over the past few years, down from approximately 13,000 to about 11,000 tons per day." 1.0–1.2 × 107 kg
(per day)
McCarthy, James E. Solid Waste Issues In The 105th Congress. Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division. Congressional Research Service. 23 December 1998. "The city was sending 13,200 tons of waste per day to the landfill at the time of the decision, and there is little or no capacity in state to replace it upon its closure." 1.20 × 107 kg
(per day)
United States (Geography) Encarta. Redmond, WA: Microsoft, 1999. "A growing population and its demands for a convenient lifestyle, generated tremendous amounts of pollution and waste. By the mid-1990s, Americans created 2.0 kg (4.3 lbs) of trash per person per day." 2.0 kg
(per day per person)

As America's most populous city with approximately 20 million people in the metro area, New York City is also one of the top "garbage producers". The total amount of the solid waste generated every day by the city of New York is approximately 1.179 × 107 kg. Most of the solid waste is made up of food scraps, from thousands and thousands of apartments, houses, and restaurants.

With huge amount of garbage generated daily, the City has to find a place to put them. The City's Department of Sanitation (DOS) handles all the collection of these waste products. All of the collections are sent directly to the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island or to transfer stations located in all five boroughs. However, Fresh Kills landfill will be shut down January 1, 2002. The city would have to find a new place to put the trash or find a new method of handling it.

There are also private companies that collect wastes. Most of these private companies collect wastes for businesses. In order to do so, they require a license from the City Trade Waste Commission.

To make the collection of wastes in the city successful, the DOS has 6,900 uniformed workers; 2,200 clerical workers; 5,600 various sanitation vehicles (collection trucks, street sweepers, etc.).

Kenny Chen -- 2000