Youth Activist: Littering in New York
Youth Activist: Littering in New York
Why this petition matters
Henry David Thoreau eloquently notes that “What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” New York City has been our home since childhood. It was once a city filled with clean streets with almost no litter in the streets. However, as we grew up, the streets became filled with rodents, trash bags, plastic bags, etc. We all want our city back and we believe that with the help of the authorities we can make our city as beautiful as it was when we were just little children. Throughout New York City, there is trash and litter more than ever which is damaging us by putting gasses like Carbon Dioxide, into the atmosphere which is a nightmare come true. One may argue that there are workers at the New York City Department of Sanitation who help clean our streets and there are over 23,000 garbage cans in New York that keep trash in. However, even with the sanitation workers helping keep the streets we live on clean and with the number of trash cans that are meant to keep trash out, people fail to realize that not only is it extremely common to see a disgusting amount of trash in public areas, but littering is also ruining the chance of us having a healthy planet to live on. This is a formal request to have a consistent schedule where we clean up our neighborhood in high-littered areas and reduce the production of plastic.
In New York City, the littering crisis is becoming a major problem for the residents of the city. The crisis is ruining our streets, buildings, and other public spaces. In the present day, our city is filled with littering from garbage bags to rodents running around. Furthermore, the rules and regulations relating to littering are rarely followed by those who commit littering crimes. Based on research done by Ross Kuhner, he states that “ During the Covid - 19 pandemic, the city has seen an increase in house During the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has seen increases in household garbage produced by New Yorkers under lockdown. Meanwhile, a pandemic-related city-budget shortfall resulted in a $106 million cut in the Department of Sanitation’s…” (2021). In other words, the littering in NYC is increasing higher than ever before, To add on, with the Covid - 19 the budget for the sanitary department has been cut off by more than a hundred million dollars causing an uprising of litter being in public spaces throughout the city. This is significant because “shortfall: means a failure to come up to expectations or need. In this case, the city’s budget for sanitary failed to provide the right amount of money to help the littering crisis. For instance, the text says “Not only is litter from unsecured loads an eyesore, but it is also a road hazard. Each year thousands of accidents try to avoid road debris that has fallen from trucks. These accidents cause substantial property damage, injuries, and not even death.” (The Town of Smithtown). In other words, there have been a lot of car casualties simply because of the amount of garbage on the road. This is important because “hazard” means a danger or risk. So this means that it’s really dangerous in New York with all the filth around because the trash has a lot of bad germs and diseases. To sum up, the NYC authorities have failed to provide the right amount of money to help our city from the hazards of littering to us and the destruction of beauty to our city.
Our request is to use a fraction of the funds in the sanitation department budget to help eliminate the problem of littering by limiting the production of plastic and making days for cleaning the highly littered areas. We also request an urgent plan for better and stricter laws that restrict residents from throwing litter in public spaces. As of now, there are over $1,537,765,000 dollars set into the Department of Sanitation in NYC, and sadly an extreme amount of trash that isn’t collected. It is damaging our planet’s oxygen supply. Quickly filling the atmosphere with carbon dioxide little by little. For instance, as stated by Susan Misicka, she claims “Recycling in Switzerland has increased up to 52% in 2018. Switzerland stopped submerging trash in landfills in 2000. Whatever trash is not recycled it is incinerated to generate energy” (Misicka, 2020). To put it another way, Switzerland has stopped putting trash together and has separated it for recycling reasons. This is critical because “energy” means power from the utilization of physical or chemical resources. As a result, using trash to generate energy can help reduce water and air pollution. A study done by Jennifer Schulz states “Fines range from $25 in Massachusetts to $30,000 in Maryland. In more serious cases, offenders may be subject to imprisonment, with sentences ranging from 10 days in Idaho to six years in Tennessee. (2022)” To put it in other words, harsh and strict laws such as six years in jail can affect cause citizens and residents to be very careful of littering in the streets. This is imperative because “imprisonment” means the restriction of a person’s liberty for any cause whatsoever. In this case, strict laws like imprisonment create a fear among residents who commit littering crimes to be extremely careful of their littering habits. In conclusion, we believe and trust that a portion of the budget of funds set for the sanitation department can help cause a huge change in our city, We believe that this will help bring more people to have better habits such as recycling and cause those who have littering habits to stop and choose the better way to dispose of items.
To reiterate, trash and littering are disseminated all around New York City which is harming us and the environment. A way to solve this issue is to have a consistent schedule where we clean up our neighborhood in high-littered areas and reduce the production of plastic. Part of our responsibility is to take care of our community because no matter what, in the end, we are the ones affecting ourselves, and we want to create a safe and welcoming environment for all. We are all given a voice for a reason, it’s gifted to us so we can be able to fight back against areas of negativity that may be affecting us having polished districts to develop in. I know that with your worry and support, we can do drastic improvements and revamp the climate we have learned to love.