Pol Pot on Hudson, a.k.a. Mike Bloomberg, Pushes Mandatory Composting Plan

The last time a big city mayor (well, if San Francisco counts) went full Pol Pot, it was San Francisco's Gavin Newsom skylarking in 2009 about turning road medians into collective farms. The handsome mayor, now at an undisclosed location as California's seldom-seen Lt. Governor, ordered 

an audit of unused land—including empty lots, rooftops, windowsills and median strips—that could be turned into community gardens or farms that could benefit residents, either by working at them or purchasing the fresh produce. 

Newsom also issued guidelines banning snacks with presumed bourgeois tendencies such as donuts and potato chips at municipal meetings, replacing them with revolutionary sustenance such as vegetables and fruits (the people's candy). Seriously.

(To his credit, Newsom these days is pushing full pot legalization in the Golden State).

Now New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking a break from his truly sinister behavior (such as continuing to push unlawful and discriminatory stop-and-frisk measures) to simply act like Woody Allen's insane dictator in Bananas. Bloomberg, reports the New York Times, is "taking on a new cause: requiring New Yorkers to separate their food scraps for composting."

The residential program will initially work on a voluntary basis, but officials predict that within a few years, it will be mandatory. New Yorkers who do not separate their food scraps could be subject to fines, just as they are currently if they do not recycle plastic, paper or metal.

Christine Quinn, the leading candidate to replace Bloomberg when he (finally) steps down at the end of this year, is all for it:

She said a mandatory program should be in place by 2016.

“We’re going to lock it in,” she said. “When New York makes composting part of everyday life, every other city will follow through. This is going to create an urban trend.”

Read more here.

Still to come: New York's big switch to Swedish as its official language. See below.

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  • some guy||

    Bloomberg is going full London. You never go full London.

  • ||

    I am SOOO glad that I chose to forego a trip to New York City next month with a trip to Las Vegas.

  • Dweebston||

    I'm headed to NYC next week for the first time. Should I worry about avoiding pressgangs for mandatory gardening service?

  • Fluffy||

    Only if you wear eye glasses or don't have hand calluses.

  • PapayaSF||

    I recommend a visit to Machine Guns Vegas. I did 50 rounds from the Thompson for $70. Totally worth it.

  • Bee Tagger||

    officials predict that within a few years, it will be mandatory.

    Out of curiosity, what isn't this true about?

  • Rich||

    Accurate predictions.

  • Fluffy||

    Manhattan rats celebrate!

    Seriously.

    I live in the fucking country and know damn well my compost pile is visited by rats ROUTINELY.

    Where is this compost going to be kept while awaiting pickup? And in what type of container? Obviously it can't be sealed in a plastic bag or it would be worthless for composting. So he wants millions of New Yorkers to keep large quantities of food waste in quasi-open containers while awaiting pickup?

    It's like he's the Rat Jesus. Or the Rat Santa Claus. Or the Rat Kwanzaa Bot.

  • entropy||

    His campaign is being funded by Orkin.

  • John||

    Rats on the West Side
    Bedbugs up town
    Go ahead bite the big Apple
    Don't mind the maggots.

    Bloomberg is insane. I am sorry. He has gone past just being a normal idiot politician to being deranged. Only a deranged mad man would think creating compost piles in one of the most densely populated cities in the world is a good idea.

  • Killazontherun||

    One of my underlings drew a picture of me in a Napoleon outfit inspecting my army of scared monkeys. It may have fit me back then, but you would have to blow that up by magnitudes to appropriate Bloomberg's crazy.

  • some guy||

    Bloomberg is not familiar with the concept of unintended consequences. What he wants to happen is all that will happen. He's a Top. Man. after all.

  • some guy||

    Also, he's got his own army, so shut the hell up before he uses it to shut you up.

  • Spoonman.||

    The raccoons just open my composter with their little raccoon hands.

  • John||

    They are highly intelligent little buggers.

  • Fluffy||

    The rats are no slouches, either.

    But that's why my compost pile is 100 feet away from my house.

    So it doesn't matter if the local wildlife play Puffy Party out there.

    And that's what they do.

    SOMEBODY carries in full ears of corn every year. The nearest cornfield is hundreds of yards away. I find the cobs in the morning.

    These motherfuckers know the compost pile is there and BRING ADDITIONAL FOOD OVER to be gracious at the vermin get-together.

    But it's all OK, because it's not actually IN my house. But in Manhattan, how many people can put their compost 100 feet away from the nearest building?

  • John||

    No one. And after they are done at the compost get together or they breed to the extent there is not enough food for everyone, they will move into the buildings. I don't see how you could ever control the population with compost piles in a place that crowded. It is insane. I mean seriously insane. Even when people didn't know what germs were and threw their garbage in the streets, were smart enough to bring in pigs to eat it.

  • ||

    Puffy Party

    I had to Google this one. Have you no shame? You're off the team.

  • Fluffy||

    My kid watched the first Madagascar movie five times a day for about a year.

    Chris Rock as a zebra exclaiming "This is like a Puffy party!" is burned into my synapses for ever.

  • Killazontherun||

    Put garden snakes in the compost. That will keep the rodents out.

  • Lyle||

    Someone tell that stupid woman that New York will not be creating an "urban trend" in separating waste and composing.

    If you live in New York city folks, you might should should think about moving somewhere else. New York is the new California. It probably won't get as bad as Detroit since New York is New York, but god help you people regardless.

    Take note where Rand Paul and Ted Cruz come from.

  • Lyle||

    composting

  • ||

    Just another jobs program. For drivers to deadhead UHaul trucks back to New York.

  • sarcasmic||

    Is a holiday in Cambodia
    Where people dress in black
    A holiday in Cambodia
    Where you'll kiss ass or crack
    Pol Pot, Pol Pot, Pol Pot, Pol Pot...

    I've never understood those who will point out the terrible consequences of statism while insisting that it will be different if the right people are in charge. Don't get it.

  • creech||

    Growing up in the 50s suburbs, garbage (kept in a lidded steel garbage pail) was collected separately from trash. But it wasn't composted; it was fed to Jersey pigs, eventually making it back to one's table a delicious bacon, ham or pork chops. You can imagine how awful the open-topped garbage truck smelled when it came down your street on a hot August afternoon. It was useful, however, for the moms on the street to point out what your fate would be if you didn't study hard in school.

  • John||

    And as Fluffy points out above, it will be a haven for rats. How long before the plague breaks out? I only half kid on that. NYC already has a serious rat problem. Just will make it unreal.

  • WTF||

    I saw a short local news story a whil ago on some people in the city with terriers and dachshunds were going out at night into alleys with their dogs and letting their dogs hunt the rats in the refuse. So maybe this will just expand the appeal of this exciting new urban sport.

  • RBS||

    Coming soon to A&E: American Ratters.

  • My Dog Bites Better Than Yours||

    Just outlaw the rats. Bloomy can turn his army on them. The problem will be fixed a few weeks.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It's like he's the Rat Jesus.

    That was pretty much what I was thinking as I posted that link yesterday.

    Another Appeal to Magic.

  • sarcasmic||

    Bloomburg has gone full Gaddafi, minus the costumes.

  • WTF||

    Unfortunately, the residents of NYC will never rise up and shove a knife up his ass.

  • John||

    “We’re going to lock it in,” she said. “When New York makes composting part of everyday life, every other city will follow through. This is going to create an urban trend.”

    Doubtful. I think when New York is overrun by rats and real no kidding public health problems, as opposed to fake ones like large sodas, the other cities will decide better of it. But thank you for volunteering New York to serve as a warning to the other cities.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    This is going to create an urban trend.

    yeah, because trends are mandatory and have fines if you don't follow them

  • ||

    If by urban trend the bitch means brand new epidemic of the Black Death, then yeah, that's exactly what it will do.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Will there be a special ops team from the Sanitation Dept armed with full-auto weapons and body armor smashing down doors and shooting teenagers for tossing their half-eaten donuts in the wrong bin?

  • John||

    Yes. I used to make this joke a lot under Bush. And it is still true today. If George Bush had demanded that everyone's garbage be inspected in the name of stopping terrorism, liberals would have gone into revolt. But let some mayor or governor do the exact same thing in the name of serving Mother Gaia, and they are the first ones to support it.

  • Tim||

    We'll bring in cats to catch the rats, and dogs to chase the cats, and donkeys to run off the dogs and elephants to scare the donkeys away and then mice to chase the elephants out.

  • Rich||

    requiring New Yorkers to separate their food scraps for composting

    Hey, what is composting *human waste*, chopped liver?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Forget about rats for a minute. There is not a single living space in Manhattan which does not already have cockroaches. Let's feed them.

    How is this going to improve the health and well being of New Yorkers, Mikey?

  • John||

    And don't forget, they have banned pretty much any chemical that would actually kill said cockroaches. So lets set up a great habitat for them and then take away any ability to kill them when they move into our houses.

  • WTF||

    It's not about the health of New Yorkers, it's about 'Mother Gaia'.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Mikey must be getting laid as a result of doing this stuff. Otherwise I can't explain it.

  • Rhywun||

    I thought composting was for people who had yards or gardens...? Why the fuck else would anyone else do it?

    PS. I live in an apartment - how in hell do they plan on distinguishing my garbage from the garbage of my 65 neighbors?

  • KDN||

    Easy: they don't. The fines levied on your landlord will be passed on to you in the form of increased rent. Thank you for your service to the people's glorious city.

  • ||

    If you have any neighbors you don't like, you can just frame them and laugh as they get hauled off to Bloomberg's Shining Prison on the Hill.

  • Hyperion||

    median strips—that could be turned into community gardens or farms that could benefit residents, either by working at them or purchasing the fresh produce

    Wow, putting a public garden in the middle of a busy highway, that sounds like a really brilliant idea. 'Hey, look at the size of those maters over there!'. 'Wow, those look really good, got to gets me some...' Honk, honk, screeeech! SMASH!!!

    Free healthy food and population control at the same time. Also, moar jerbz for car collision specialists and emergency room workers, and morgues.

    Only a politician could conceive of something like this.

  • WTF||

    Because God knows we don't already grow enough food in the U.S.

  • ||

    This is my argument against my statist friends -- that American could feed the entire world, and at a good price, if not for the manipulation of the food market by the US government.

  • Hyperion||

    We don't want to feed the entire world. Bombing the shit out of them is more fun.

  • ||

    Answer: privatize garbage disposal.

    Is there any earthly reason why more than one set of garbage trucks can't roam the streets of New York?

    Make people pay the full cost of the disposal of their trash, and you will create an incentive to sort it and use the recycling bins. Maybe not enough of an incentive to get everyone to actually do it. But that will depend on just how expensive trash collection actually is when it isn't subsidized by the government.

  • RBS||

    Why does this sound like it ends with Manhattan being cut off from the rest of the world?

  • WTF||

    "The name's Plissken."

  • MJGreen||

    Can a fellow New Yorker explain to me how the current recycling regime even works? So many New Yorkers are renters, and the building's responsible for the trash. So... are they fined when their residents don't do things correctly? Does someone actually go through the block-length pile of garbage that some buildings put out every week, checking for plastic?

    I do the best I can to not just chuck cardboard in with my regular trash, but I'd say I only get about 50% right. And I have no idea if this has ever impacted any of my landlords over the years. And now I'm supposed to separate food as well? No fucking way that works for a vast majority of the city.

  • Rhywun||

    So... are they fined when their residents don't do things correctly?

    Yes. In my last place, it was just 3 families, and the landlord was all about making sure we did our garbage right.

    Now I live in a bigger building - I'm sure in that case the fines are just considered part of the cost of doing business.

  • MJGreen||

    I figure the same, but that's such a crazy system. I also lived in a smaller building in Queens owned by a family outfit, and they did put a notice on the door when one of the 6 tenants blatantly ignored recycling regs.

  • Hyperion||

    Who's going to inspect the contents of everyones compost to make sure there aren't things in there that ahould not be in compost?

    You can't put everything in compost, Mikey

    Everyone should just throw a couple hundred pot seeds into their compost each time it's time for pickup.

  • John||

    That would be awesome. Have pot growing wild all over New York. That stuff is a weed. You know how hard it is to eradicate once it gets going? And good luck getting the scientifically ignorant and superstitious upper East Side to agree to using any kind of herbicide to eradicate it.

  • Hyperion||

    What would be much worse, is to throw a bunch of thistle seed into the mix. That will teach these statist retards a lesson or two about unintended consequences.

  • Russell||

    If candy guns are criminalized, only criminals will have eye candy.

  • sarcasmic||

    W
    T
    F

  • ||

    I would pay money to see someone pistol whip him with one of those.

  • rts||

    Such programs are coming to our area as well. We live in bear country. All the food scrap cans must be bear proof and be set out at the curb no earlier than 0530 the day of pick up (and no later than 0730).

    And of course people put up with it...

  • WTF||

    For a can to be 'bear proof' it would have to be completely sealed and probably weigh too much to carry easily. So how do the sanitation guys actually empty them?

  • rts||

    Never mind such trifling details, citizen.

    Just know that the city sells approved containers for $140. What a coincidence!

  • Hyperion||

    How totally uncreative. Instead, what you do, is you have your favorite crony manufacture the 'approved' containers, and mandate that everyone has to buy one.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    That's not necessarily true. One can get a bear can, made for backcountry hiking in bear heavy areas, that is pretty small and only about 2 lbs. Whether it would be large enough for a week's worth of food scraps is debatable, however.

  • Hyperion||

    That video is funny as hell.

    I'm not getting up to put out any fucking thing at 5:30 in the morning, or at 7:30 either. We have a similar thing in my community, where we have to put our trash out for pickup between 7 and 8am. That's why I just take my own trash to the dumpster.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    To be fair, I don't think that Pol Pot ever imposed anything quite this ridiculous.

  • PapayaSF||

    Meh. I have been separating garbage from compost from recycling for years. This seems about as Pol Pot as traffic lights.

    The cans are plastic with hinged lids, so no rat problems. Composting kills seeds, so adding pot seeds would be pointless. The system reduces need for landfill, cuts greenhouse gases, and produces high-quality compost used in farms and vineyards. This is just the sort of thing where I am happy to go along with the greenies and statists... I am an imperfect libertarian, and save my political energy for issues that matter.

  • Paul.||

    The system reduces need for landfill, cuts greenhouse gases, and produces high-quality compost used in farms and vineyards.

    Does it?

    This is just the sort of thing where I am happy to go along with the greenies and statists... I am an imperfect libertarian, and save my political energy for issues that matter.

    I'm not, because there's an ugliness that comes along with mandatory anything. And the more petty the thing, the easier "mandatory" is for less petty things.

    It starts with "Mandatory recycling" and ends with the mayor digging through your trash and fining you for recyclables in your garbage.

    Remember, tyranny has to get its foot in the door somewhere. What better place then how you toss your garbage out?

  • PapayaSF||

    This is a silly place to draw a line. It's a pretty basic function of city government to keep the streets clean. SF wastes a lot of time and money (e.g. we spend $200 million a year on the homeless) and pointlessly infringes on liberty in hundreds of ways, but this isn't one of them.

  • Paul.||

    City governments have been doing a reasonably decent job (ignore New York in the 70s) of keeping the streets clean by having regular garbage pickup.

    It's simple, efficient, and no one got fined for throwing the wrong thing in the wrong bin.

    Then came the Bloombergs of the world and suddenly, taking out the garbage is a political act requiring an entirely new infrastructure, trucks driving through the streets, new divisions within city government, political fights and lawsuits over composting facilities (hint: progressives never want to live next door to the facility created by their mandates), the list goes on.

    The point being, if you want to compost, knock yourself out. If it's such a good idea, everyone would be doing it without a mandate.

  • Paul.||

    And by the way, just for the record, fighting the 16oz soda ban seems awfully petty too.

  • PapayaSF||

    The soda ban is ridiculous in many ways, but expecting city-dwellers to compost on their own is also ridiculous. SF generates 600 tons of compost per day. It's got to go somewhere, and many of us don't have backyards. Far better that it ends up on farms or vineyards than landfills.

  • Redmanfms||

    The soda ban is ridiculous in many ways, but expecting city-dwellers to compost on their own is also ridiculous.

    The only person "expecting" anyone to do anything, is you.

    Jeebus, you're like Tony with his "not taking is giving" bullshit regarding taxes.

  • PapayaSF||

    I am not like Tony IN ANY WAY. Waste disposal from cities is not a trivial problem, and a very basic function for government. It's absurd to start talking about Pol Pot simply because a city wants to dispose of their garbage in a better way, and people will have to use three cans instead of two or one.

    You don't get to throw your garbage out the window any more, either. You are probably required to be hooked up to the municipal sewage system. You can rage about those rules as infringements on liberty if you want, but I think it's better to save your outrage for battles that make sense.

  • Redmanfms||

    I am not like Tony IN ANY WAY.

    In the narrow circumstance I gave you most certainly are.

    You don't get to throw your garbage out the window any more, either. You are probably required to be hooked up to the municipal sewage system.

    BURN STRAWMAN!!!! BURN!!!!

    You can rage about those rules as infringements on liberty if you want, but I think it's better to save your outrage for battles that make sense.

    Oh hai, Ms. Coulter.

    Drug prohibition is pretty trivial to me too as I'm not a drug producer, distributor, or consumer.

    There are quasi-libertarian ways in which this "problem" could have been answered, namely charging people by mass which would encourage people to recycle, compost, and decrease their waste production. They chose (and you pretty clearly support) the route of violence.

    Opposing the use of the state on "trivial" matters is where it is most important.

  • PapayaSF||

    That's not really a straw man argument. My examples are more than an analogy, because all are about garbage disposal, and how the rules change over time. Landfills are filling up, so diverting garbage elsewhere is perfectly sensible. Turning (some) garbage into a valuable commodity is also hard to argue against.

    Charging by mass would not really solve the landfill problem, and would create new ones (e.g. dumping garbage to avoid paying for it to be hauled away).

    You can certainly be a purist if you want, but referring to every law, no matter how sensible and trivial, as "the route of violence" just dilutes your power to influence other, far more important things.

    I once met a guy who ran for mayor of San Francisco as a libertarian. During an interview he was asked if children should be able to own AK-47s. He said yes and defended the idea. At that point, everyone but purist libertarians said "what a nut" and felt safe to ignore everything else he might say. If you can't compromise your principles on edge cases, you get nowhere.

    Socialism didn't become established in the U.S. because the Socialist Party won elections, and because socialists insisted on pure socialism 100% of the time. They got what they wanted incrementally, by compromising and trying to avoid extreme examples that would spook average voters. When you class mandatory composting with violence, you are encouraging the marginalization of libertarianism, not its adoption.

  • Redmanfms||

    Turning (some) garbage into a valuable commodity is also hard to argue against.

    Which I'm not arguing against if you bothered to read the fucking posts.

    I'm arguing against making it mandatory and using the state (violence) to enforce it.

    They got what they wanted incrementally, by compromising and trying to avoid extreme examples that would spook average voters.

    The compromise always went in their direction. As it does for greenie fascists in this case.

    You don't compromise liberty to get more liberty. You get progressively less liberty.

    When you class mandatory composting with violence, you are encouraging the marginalization of libertarianism, not its adoption.

    I'm not classing composting with violence, I'm classing the enforcement mechanism with violence, because that is precisely what it is.

    It may, or may not marginalize "libertarianism" but it does compromise liberty, and that has a cumulative effect. Libertarianism is irrelevant if it doesn't stand for liberty.

    Your ideals are subject to popular whim, another feature you share with Tony.

  • Rhywun||

    Cut my city tax bill and I'll do it. Otherwise, they can fuck off.

  • ||

    Seriously?

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Meh. Who cares about the draft? I'm already in Army.

  • PapayaSF||

    Being forced to put your waste in three different bins is hardly the equivalent of being forced into the Army for years.

    If libertarians are going to get anywhere politically, they can't be purist ideologues. This is a perfectly reasonable area for compromise. "I'm not allowed to flush used motor oil down my toilet! Tyranny!"

  • Redmanfms||

    If libertarians are going to get anywhere politically, they can't be purist ideologues. This is a perfectly reasonable area for compromise. "I'm not allowed to flush used motor oil down my toilet! Tyranny!"

    What bullshit.

    It's always amused me how you progs always view compromise going your way.

    If you want to compost, I'm fucking certain their are compost collection facilities, garden centers etc, that will take your shit. I live in podunk, backward, hillbilly Virginia and there are 4 companies I know of that will pick up compost waste just in my area.

    The fact is, you don't have a problem with mandatory (read forced with the threat of VIOLENCE) composting because you want to do it, but don't like doing it on your lonesome because of the potential inconvenience and cost. So you want to collectivize the cost to everyone else because you are a selfish fucking weasel.

    Fuck you.

  • PapayaSF||

    If you think I'm a prog you haven't been around here long. I'm just not a fanatic ideologue who has to cram everything in life into a political viewpoint. I'm also more able to discuss issues with politeness than you are.

  • Redmanfms||

    I'm just not a fanatic ideologue who has to cram everything in life into a political viewpoint.

    I'm not either.

    Your arguments in this thread, however, most certainly are the sort a progressive would make.

    I'm also more able to discuss issues with politeness than you are.

    Sneering condescension doesn't play as politeness.

    I can't speak for the others, but my "outrage" is less over the cause and more over the execution. That you merrily go along with it and act as though it's no big deal is disturbing.

    Liberty is lost to a death of a thousand cuts.

    While the cause is "trivial" (as drug and prostitution prohibition is to me), the cumulative sum of all of these petty violence enforced restrictions adds up. The result is tyranny.

    That you either abjectly refuse or are incapable of seeing this is, again, disturbing.

  • Rhywun||

    [it] produces high-quality compost used in farms and vineyards

    Good - let people who give a shit about that sort of thing compost to their heart's content. I for one would prefer not to keep a pot of rotting food on my kitchen counter.

  • Paul.||

    San Francisco's Gavin Newsom skylarking in 2009 about turning road medians into collective farms

    Goddamned west coast mayors. Seattle's the same way. Practically every Mayor wants to turn the entire city into a combined organic urban farm/Bike Lane.

  • Paul.||

    (To his credit, Newsom these days is pushing full pot legalization in the Golden State).

    By the way, this is why SoCon's fight marijuana legalization. The people often associated with the movement would ban 16oz sodas and smoking in all public spaces in a heartbeat, given the chance.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Portlandia is already there. Food scrap recycling was instituted almost two years ago. Nice guys that they are, they cut regular garbage pickup to biweekly while keeping rates the same. Anecdotal reports have rat and raccoon problems increasing.

    One local blogger has created an alternate rat persona under the name Stenchy. https://twitter.com/stenchypdx

  • PapayaSF||

    They only pick up food scraps every two weeks? Yeah, that's too long. A week is about the maximum.

  • Paul.||

    Another annoying thing about this, is it doesn't personally affect Bloomberg in any way.

    Do you actually believe that Bloomberg is in his kitchen at night, separating the garbage, throwing away the soiled cardboards in his composting bin, putting recyclables in another, glass in another and then finally, the things that don't fit into that category into his regular trash?

    No, he has a fucking army of Guatemalan nannies who do that shit. Fuck him with a spoon.

  • buddhastalin||

    Composting is legally required here in San Francisco. I could be convinced that composting is a good idea and might be persuaded to do so voluntarily. However, precisely because it is mandatory, I don't do it as a little FU to a city government too focused on bullshit to even lift a finger to solve the city's real problems.

  • Rhywun||

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