The New York Times published an editorial Monday under the inspiring title, “A Promising Garbage Workaround.”

After many years of unqualified support for it, the paper now admits there is one serious problem with a lethal garbage site under construction in a residential neighborhood in Manhattan: the ramp leading to it bisects a sports field where 34,000 New York City kids from every borough go to play year round.

Though this Vision Zero nightmare has been obvious for years to anyone with actual vision, it is only one of ten or more equally obvious problems. (For example, putting aside the ramp, is it really okay for over 1,000 daily tons of garbage to be dumped 50 feet from where children play?) Moving the ramp a block north — the “workaround” — partially solves one problem, and an important one, but only by moving the pain elsewhere. This is symptomatic of the whole Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) of which this dump is a part.

The New York Times editorial describes the SWMP as a “veritable trash Enlightenment.” Actually, it’s more toward the end of the Middle Ages, at best. It spends heavily on expensive infrastructure that locks in antiquated methods of handling garbage for a very long time, and is riddled with concessions to forces that have nothing to do with the environment and much to do with greed.

It’s time for reporters to stop dutifully repeating how wonderful the SWMP is and actually look at it from a modern environmental perspective.

Read Matthew Chapman’s full piece, Five Years Too Late, The New York Times Admits A Mistake and Boldly Supports a ‘Workaround’ , on