Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2003

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Policy Studies - (M.S.)


Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Maurie J. Cohen

Second Advisor

Nancy L. Jackson

Third Advisor

Brett M. Baden


New York City ceased disposing of its daily residential solid waste output within its municipal borders in March 2001 when the Department of Sanitation completed its phase-down of the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. The closure of this facility has, for the first time in history, stripped New York City of its waste management selfsufficiency, created a situation in which municipal officials are reliant on private firms and other governmental jurisdictions for disposal services, and contributed to deteriorating fiscal, environmental, political, economic, social and practical conditions.

Consequent and concurrent to this predicament, a multitude of alternative policies have been suggested by different interests, yet after two years New York City still finds itself without a workable garbage disposal policy. This thesis judges these alternative plans based on technical criteria and identifies the best option for moving forward. The conclusion couples this recommendation with an effective waste reduction scheme and analyzes the combined proposition within the context of New York City's political climate.