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NYPD Green: Teaching Respect for the Environment, One Summons at a Time

On the New York City streets, polluters are learning to fear green-uniformed environmental protection police. It would make a great addition to the number of crime procedural TV shows set in the city: watch the officers crack down on undersize trout! Watch them in a sting operation on a supermarket that doesn't recycle!

In Sweden, reports the Everyday Trash blog, one housing co-op decided to crack down on residents flouting recycling laws, moving to a scheduled large item drop off times monitored by the grim-faced "Bulky Trash Watchman."

While the co-op has had a lot of success in a short period of time, the environmental police...and the New York populace, are just beginning to catch on.

In an urban center with its share of other crimes, it's refreshing to hear that New York is also prosecuting crimes against the earth. While it can be argued that enforcing environmental laws is just adding more administrative burden to a city where it can take 12 months to fix a broken streetlight, fixing even one problem, like a supermarket that refuses to redeem recyclables, can potentially divert some of those cans and bottles from the landfill. It's a tough job, taking New York out of the center of the universe and placing it squarely on an earth that needs caring. Culture in the Big Apple, unlike the Everyday Trash blogger's native Sweden, is not big on civic identification. Maybe the eco-police are going to be able to teach green lessons in a language New Yorkers can understand: it's all about respect.


Tags: City, Europe, Law, New york, Policy, Recycling, Trash, Urban

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