DPW considers fast-food litter fee 

Forget the gum. Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin said Monday that if mid-year cuts are necessary or for next year’s budget, the department is studying implementing a fee on fast-food restaurants’ purchases to pay for the cost of cleaning up garbage originating from the businesses.

“Last year, The City put into place a cigarette-butt litter fee, that came from analysis that the Department of Environment had done based on some of the larger sources of litter in The City,” Reiskin said. “Fast food wrappers are really the next biggest identifiable source. We are working with the Department of Environment and the city attorney’s office to conduct a nexus study to determine if there is a basis for establishing a fee that would then help offset the costs that The City incurs to remove that litter from the public rights of way. That is something that we will be undertaking in the next few months.”

The 20-cent cigarette-fee on every package of smokes purchased will generate about $2.5 million during the fiscal year that begins on July 1.

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