The dirt on New York City: It is consistently ranked as one of the dirtiest cities in the world. Why is this? Is it because of the large population and lack of space? Or is something else at play? Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why New York City is so dirty.
According to a CBS News Report, a poll this year found that it’s the second dirtiest city in the world.
by David Stone
The high population density of New York City creates more trash
New York City is known for its population density, with millions of people living and working in a relatively small area.
While population density can be a great thing, it can also create problems, especially when it comes to garbage. With more people living in close quarters, there is simply more garbage being generated – from food and beverage containers to furniture, electronics and appliances.
Not only is this an eyesore, but the additional trash also increases landfill requirements and pollution levels.
To combat this problem, the city has implemented several initiatives designed to reduce the volume of waste generated by each resident. This includes introducing new composting facilities; expanding curbside recycling programs; encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags; and providing more public transit options rather than relying on cars as personal transportation.
By taking these steps, New York City can help keep its population density from becoming a burden for the environment. It may not be easy, but with a little bit of effort, it’s definitely doable.
After all, population density creates many advantages for New Yorkers – like having access to countless amazing restaurants and theaters.
When my wife and I moved to New York in 1990, she read a statistic: If you sampled ever restaurant in New York, it would take ten years.
Abundance has a price.
There are not enough public trash cans for everyone to use
It is no secret that trash cans are in short supply and overused.
Every person has a right to clean, safe public spaces but too often those spaces do not have enough trash cans to go around. It’s an immediate – and fixable – reason why New York City is so dirty.
Cities face increasing pressure to meet trash-collection goals while simultaneously dealing with budget problems and strained resources. The burden on cities means a severe deficit when it comes to the necessary infrastructure like trash cans – particularly in areas where trash cans afford the only viable solution.
Some of the worst dirt on New York City affects communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. They’re especially hard hit because they disproportionately lack trash collection services, making trash cans even more valuable but even further out of reach.
It’s time we start bearing the responsibility for our own waste management by investing in proper trash can infrastructure both financially and politically.
We need better trash can policies if we want cleaner parks and neighborhoods for everyone. Putting ample trash cans in public places would just be one step toward this goal, but frequent pickups are equally important.
The Dirt on New York City is you. People believe they’re too busy to pick up after themselves
New York City is an incredibly busy place, with people rushing off to work, hustling to make their subway train, and trying to squeeze in a few errands before dark.
Everyone is too busy just trying to survive to think about the small things – like picking up after themselves.
From coffee cups carelessly discarded on street corners and fast-food wrappers swirling in the breeze to overflowing garbage cans, it’s easy to feel compassion for those too busy or too overwhelmed by city life to pay attention to the litter around them.
And these days, we have a whole new category of waste: discarded face masks.
Of course, this doesn’t excuse people from doing their share of the cleanup in our proudly packed (but sometimes disheveled) Big Apple.
With so much at stake – from creating a pleasant atmosphere to protecting our beloved environment – it would be wonderful if New Yorkers could find even just a few moments to pick up after themselves and others.
Small, regular shows of stewardship help set a positive example throughout the city.
The city government does not do enough to clean the streets
As a resident of this city, I’m often struck by how government cuts have impacted the cleanliness of our streets. The perception is that government fails on all levels, but dealing with dirt on New York City is a universally recognized failure.
Trash boxes overflow, sidewalks are lined with cigarette butts, and the parks are regularly neglected despite appeals to tidy up the area.
While there have been some attempts here and there to jumpstart cleanup initiatives – like volunteer cleanups or educational campaigns – these don’t come close to addressing the mess that’s already been made.
It’s time for our government officials to take responsibility and make real progress with cleaning our streets now.
Until then, we’ll just be left with subpar efforts which won’t even begin to address the growing burden of dirt and debris in our town.
Businesses in New York City generate a lot of waste
New York City is one of the busiest cities in the world in terms of business activity. With a vibrant business sector and bustling population, it’s no surprise that businesses in NYC generate a lot of waste.
From damaged photo equipment to empty cleaning containers and business card holders, the amount of business waste produced seems staggering.
But instead of simply disposing of trash haphazardly, business owners need to rethink how they handle their waste.
Minimizing their environmental footprint and reducing their overall energy consumption, businesses should engage in green practices such as reuse, recycling, composting and buying recycled materials whenever possible.
This also helps create a sense of responsibility within businesses when it comes to properly disposing of business materials. While it may seem daunting at first, making small changes within business operations can make a big difference.
Sustainable business practices are essential for preserving the health of our planet and supporting future generations living in New York City. By adapting small behavior changes when handling business-related waste, we can improve our environment for years to come.
Tourists visiting New York City add to the litter problem
As tourists from around the world flock to New York City, one of their lasting legacies may be an uptick in litter.
Littering is a major problem that has long plagued this beautiful metropolis, and tourists add to the issue by carelessly discarding their empty food containers, candy wrappers and used napkins on the city sidewalks.
Those who don’t live here are not as invested. They spend a lot, but they expect New York City to clean up after them.
If tourists are unconcerned about how their actions impact our environment, then their behavior contributes to worsening an already-pressing issue.
After all, we are all responsible for keeping this great city clean. Only when everyone works together to prevent tourists from adding to the existing litter problem can we enjoy New York City in its fullest.
Most tourists visiting this amazing city agree that it’s worth playing their part as custodians of this global gem.
The Dirt on New York City Conclusion
New York City is a beautiful and vibrant place, but it’s also dirty. The high population density and the lack of public trash cans mean that there are too many people creating too much trash.
Sone New Yorkers think they are too busy to pick up after themselves, and the city government doesn’t do enough in combating it.
Businesses in New York generate a lot of waste, and tourists visiting New York City add to the litter problem.
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