Watch How New York's Enormous Organic Rubbish System Works

By Nick Stango on at

The process of throwing out rubbish in New York City is much more complicated than any of the millions of people living there could ever realise. A mini-documentary by the New York Times does a full observation of the £184 million service top to bottom.

As the second instalment of a video series titled Living City, the NYT aims to cover all facets that make New York City life possible. This segment dive into how the department of sanitation does the very dirty job of handling the rubbish and recyclables. New York has been constantly looking to improve its methods of disposing the waste, through building new facilities in Sunset Park and using greener, floating forms of transportation across the Hudson. Even New York's newest neighbourhood, Hudson Yards, is built to circumvent bin bags on the streets for a much more modern and futuristic system.

The video focuses in on the DoS's biggest new threat: Organic waste. Averaging at about a third of our daily garbage, the organic waste in NYC could be better put to use as compost instead of going out to landfills where they end up creating poisonous gas. Some neighbourhoods of the city are already starting to employ methods of separating the organic matter to make it easier for farms outside the urban area to start the compost process.

Of course, the overall message once again is that the effort to educate the masses is paramount. If the public is unaware of how terrible their habits may be, the system can never really get better. It's a battle that even the Department of Environmental Protection fights daily to keep their own incredible facilities in working order. But it's mini-docs like this that get the knowledge out there. [NY Times]