Experts say pandemic could having lasting, positive impact on environment
With everything on pause, environmentalists say the pandemic is potentially having a lasting impact on the environment.
Adrienne Esposito, from Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says the unexpected part was how quickly carbon emissions dropped after many Long Islanders were asked to work from home.
Environmentalists like Esposito agree this is not a time to celebrate with the loss of lives and the economy. However, it does serve as a rallying call for the switch to renewable energy sources.
Some published reports say the planet is experiencing the largest decrease in carbon emissions since World War II.
While the coronavirus pause may have delivered environmental benefits, piles of trash headed to landfills have grown because more people are home.
Will Flower, with Winter Brothers Waste Systems, says with people being stuck at home, there has been an uptick in attic and basement cleanups, and that has put some stress on a system that is geared up to handle a certain amount of trash.
Flower says the waste stream has also become more complicated, with less homes recycling and more recyclables being tossed into household waste.
A lot of people are also now shopping online and getting cardboard boxes.
"That cardboard can be and should be recycled, and we just need to make sure it's clean, it's broken down and placed in the recycling bin," said Flower.