200712recycling.jpgYesterday the NY Post warned non-recyclers that they'd have to don a "scarlet litter" if they didn't clean up their acts. We hoped this "scarlet litter" would be a hat hand-crafted by a Freegan and worn atop the heads of the environmentally-challenged, but instead it's something much more sensible: a clear bag for all of your garbage that leaves little to the imagination. New York, we don't really want to see your trash, so please try to figure out this whole recycling thing, m'kay?

If warnings and summonses do not induce residents to separate their recyclables from the rest of the trash, the city will force them to put all their garbage into clear plastic bags and endure routine inspections.

By next year, this pilot program will be expanded citywide, said Robert Lange, director of the Sanitation Department's bureau of waste prevention.

Last night the sanitation police surprised two Brooklyn buildings they had their eyes on. 2330 Ocean Avenue and 2540 Ocean Avenue were both previously ordered to use the clear bags because of past violations. How did they fare? Not so well. The first stop failed to use the clear bags, and while the second did, they still failed to understand the separation process. One resident at another targeted building, 2626 Kings Highway, explains, "We never tried it here - it is very complicated." How do these people do laundry?

For those who need a quick refresher course, NYCWasteLe$$ has a helpful guide, and the Commissioner of Sanitation has a list of ten ways to "give more and waste less this holiday season". With New Yorkers only separating out 17% of their trash for recycling, this new plan may help us get closer to our goal, which we are currently falling short of by 25%.