Bloomberg on the potential benefits of a styrofoam ban

Styrofoam containers. (blue_stopsign via Flickr)
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration is considering a ban of styrofoam, which is not biodegradable, and today the mayor briefly explained why.

"Landfills cost us a lot of money," he said. "If we could recycle a lot of stuff, it would be much better for the environment and better for our bottom line. And we’re looking at a lot of things. One of the things you might want to do, and a lot of other places have, is ban things like styrofoam that don’t, whatever the term is, degrade quickly in landfills."

The mayor made his remarks at a press conference hailing the impact of electronic medical records on health in New York City.

While the mayor's remarks were kind of equivocal, Ron Gonen, the city's recycling chief, recently told DNAinfo that he does in fact plan to propose a styrofoam ban in the City Council.

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"From a pure dollars-and-cents standpoint, it costs us money to dispose of Styrofoam in a landfill," he said. "It's also unhealthy for the environment. It doesn't break down properly." 

Styrofoam bans have already been enacted in some 70 localities in California, and in about a dozen other cities and towns across the country, including Seattle and (who knew!) Glen Cove on Long Island. Boston is also considering a ban.