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New York Lifts Garbage Disposal Ban

October 11, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ The familiar whine and grind of garbage disposals may soon be heard in New York City kitchens: The ban on the noisy devices was lifted Saturday.

Disposals had been illegal in 70 percent of the city, including all of Manhattan, since the 1970s. City officials voted over the summer to lift the ban and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani signed the new bill several weeks ago, effective Saturday.

But New Yorkers aren’t exactly lining up to have the noisy machines installed. City Department of Environmental Protection head Joel Miele said projections were that only 32,000 new sinks per year _ about 1 percent of the city’s total_ would be grinding away perishable garbage.

In the past two decades, disposals were allowed only in areas where storm and sewage drains were separate _ about 30 percent of the city, including most of Staten Island and small sections of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

Because much of the city has an antiquated sewage system, installing a garbage disposal will be expensive. The units, installed, can cost from $300 to $700.

For some New Yorkers who have lived without them for years, the devices brought excitement.

Harry Brownell, 71, had a free disposal installed in his Brooklyn apartment about 20 months ago as part of a city test prior to lifting the ban.

``I think it’s great! I’m just amazed how we got along without them for so long,″ Brownell said.