Greenwashing a Low Recycling Rate
The Toscanos and Zambrottas also own a large North Brooklyn waste transfer and recycling facility in an environmentally overburdened North Brooklyn community which hosts more waste facilities than any other community district. The facility’s website claims that “All municipal solid waste is sorted for recyclable materials such as wood, metal, glass and cardboard” and an adjacent “State of the Art Recycling Center” where “our goal is to recycle 100% of everything that comes into our facility.”
In fact, the two facilities affiliated with Mr. T are anything but “green”: in 2015, they submitted reports to New York State showing that they recycled only a paltry 11% of the waste they took in, they hauled 139,000 tons to out-of-state landfills as far away as Virginia and Ohio via polluting diesel trucks. This recycling rate lags behind the below-average rates of New York City’s residents, and the estimated 19% average for commercial waste facilities citywide that year.
Despite their questionable business and environmental practices, the Toscano landfilling operation was originally financed with taxpayer dollars. In 1988, the city’s Industrial Development Agency issued $1.5 million in bonds to finance their purchase of the transfer station site.