Bloomberg to push electric car spaces, recycling - New York News

Bloomberg wants to ban Styrofoam

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivers the 2013 State of the City address from the Barclays Center. Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivers the 2013 State of the City address from the Barclays Center.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg used part of his last State of the City address to push initiatives that would increase the number of parking spaces for electric cars and begin recycling more plastics and food waste.

Excerpts of Thursday's address were made available on Wednesday.

We'll "make New York City a national leader in electric vehicles," Bloomberg said.

He said the city would install curbside vehicle chargers that would let drivers recharge in 30 minutes and that his administration would work with the City Council to change the city's building code so that up to 20 percent of new public parking spaces are wired for electric cars, with the goal of creating 10,000 spaces for electric cars over the next seven years.

Bloomberg, who has made the city's environment a key issue for his administration, also said, "This year, we'll take major new steps toward another important sustainability goal that we've set: doubling the city's recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017."

The administration's efforts to reach that goal include a new recycling plant that will be able to process plastics that were not able to be accepted before, as well as a pilot program on Staten Island that will take food waste from homes and turn it into compost to be used in city parks and other spaces.

Bloomberg, who has taken on smoking, sugary drinks and salt, said he was setting his sights on Styrofoam.

"One product that is virtually impossible to recycle and never bio-degrades is Styrofoam. Something that we know is environmentally destructive and that may be hazardous to our health, that is costing taxpayers money and that we can easily do without, and is something that should go the way of lead paint," he said.

He said his administration would work with the City Council to ban Styrofoam food packaging from stores and restaurants. "We can live without it. We may live longer without it. And the doggie bag will survive just fine," he said.

Polystyrene foam, sometimes sold under the brand name Styrofoam, makes lightweight, heat-retaining containers, but environmentalists aren't fans because of how long it takes to break down.

Some communities around the country have barred eateries from using to-go containers made of it. A similar proposal has stalled in New York's City Council in recent years.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Some excerpts from the mayor's prepared remarks:

"We'll also make New York City a national leader in electric vehicles. This year we'll pilot curbside vehicle chargers that will allow drivers to fill up their battery in as little as 30 minutes. We'll work with the City Council to amend the Building Code so that up to 20 percent of all new public parking spaces will be wired and ready for electric vehicles, creating 10,000 parking spots for electric vehicles over the next seven years."

"This year, we'll take major new steps toward another important sustainability goal that we've set: doubling the city's recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017. We'll start by making recycling easier for everyone…We'll also make it possible to recycle more plastics… As we recycle more plastics, we'll also begin recycling food waste."

"One product that is virtually impossible to recycle and never bio-degrades is Styrofoam…Something that we know is environmentally destructive and that may be hazardous to our health, that is costing taxpayers money and that we can easily do without, and is something that should go the way of lead paint. So we will work with Speaker Quinn and the City Council to pass a law banning Styrofoam food packaging from our stores and restaurants… After all, we can live without it. We may live longer without it. And the doggie bag will survive just fine."

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