Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins with Mayor Jonathan Siegel to plant tree at Irvington Earth Day Celebration.
Irvington, NY — April 21, 2010 — Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District, NY) is reminding local residents that April 22nd is Earth Day and encourages each person to help protect our environment for future generations. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins will be attending a series of Earth Day celebrations, which began over the weekend with the Senator helping to kick-off the Irvington Earth Day and Greenburgh Nature Center Earth Day events. As a member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins has established an extensive record as an advocate for environmentally responsible policies.
In an effort to improve the amount of recyclable products that are purchased in New York State, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins sponsored and passed legislation this week that would limit the purchasing of non-recyclable paper materials in State government offices (S5119). Recent reports suggest that only half of the State’s paper products are currently being recycled and mandatory recycling alone may not be enough to achieve high levels of waste reduction and materials recovery. In fact, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recommends that agencies and other authorities demonstrate comprehensive waste reduction and recycling programs, that include green purchasing.
Through hundreds of New York State governmental entities, the State purchases large amounts of various paper products including, but not limited to, copy paper, stationery, file folders, manila envelopes and interagency “goldenrod” envelopes. The bill specifically sought to address the purchase of goldenrod envelopes as they are saturated with hard-to-remove dyes that mostly render them non-recyclable, as dye-removal is essential in the recycling process. Many alternative recyclable products are already on the market and are available to consumers at comparable prices.
“The passage of this legislation represents a common sense solution to increase the recycling of a significant portion of State-purchased paper products,” said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “It is important for the State of New York to take steps to improve the current recycling system, by purchasing products that are not ‘designed for the dump’ but which help to preserve our environment for future generations because they are recyclable.”
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins has also introduced legislation that would require utility companies to adopt responsible vegetation management practices around transmission power lines, which has been proposed to prevent unnecessary tree-cutting (S6825). The Senator is gathering feedback on this issue through an online petition for New York State residents to share their comments and opinions at http://www.nysenate.gov/petition/join-fight-provide-feedback-tree-cutting-local-utility-companies. Residents can also call (914) 423-4031 for more information or visit the Senator’s District Office located at 28 Wells Avenue (Building 3) in Yonkers, NY to sign the petition in person.
“Working together to ‘Go Green’, we can ensure that all New Yorkers enjoy the benefits of cleaner communities and the jobs created in a new economy based on green technology. Earth Day serves as a reminder to each person to do their part to make our environment cleaner and safer for all of our world’s families, ” concluded Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins.