The program will join together education and art to inform young NYCHA residents about the benefits of recycling in their communities as well as the ease of recycling plastic bags, while showcasing opportunities for them to participate. Recent legislation proposed in the City Council would impose a 10-cent regressive tax on grocery bags.
"The questions here are simple: 'Can we do more to reduce litter and protect the environment? Absolutely. Should we solve this problem by making working families and seniors pay more when they buy their groceries every week? Absolutely not,'" said Bertha Lewis, president and Founder of BLAC. "Our coalition will address the problem of litter head-on by educating and activating young people around the issue of recycling. You don't solve a problem by further penalizing those who are most affected by it."
"The economy has only improved for those who are already at the top. For the rest of us, a new tax every time we go to the grocery store is something we simply can't afford," said Ramon Murphy, president of the Bodega Association of the United States. "We have joined this coalition to become part of the solution by encouraging recycling in our neighborhoods, rather than becoming part of the problem by raising our customers' grocery bills."
Through collaboration with tenants' association representatives, this coalition will kick off in the following NYCHA developments:
- Bronx: Soundview Houses
- Brooklyn: Brevoort Houses
- Manhattan: Jefferson Houses
- Queens: Queensbridge and Ravenswood Houses
- Staten Island: Richmond Terrace Houses
Through the coalition's educational campaign, the program will demonstrate how recycling is an effective way to keep NYC clean without burdening low-income families and senior citizens.