Eco-friendly Food Carts Will Hit Manhattan Sidewalks Soon

A pilot program will ease the burdens of food vendors who usually make use of gasoline generators and charcoal grills as 500 eco-friendly carts will be given away for free. The sleek food charts to be given away make use of solar power, lower-emission natural gas, and a rechargeable battery, offering mobile food vendors a better alternative to their conventional smoky propane-gas fueled carts.

Sean Basinski, the Street Vendor Project director said they were aware of the respiratory problems that food vendors are having, considering standing over the charcoal grills for 10 hours a day. The director also noted the additional exhaust that the vendors inhale through the consistent vehicular traffic flow.

Basinski added that the city health department regulates the food vendors. It is also responsible in capping their permits at approximately 3,000 all year-round, while up to 4,000 within the summer season.

A shish kebab vendor, Morad Nawar claimed that the propane fumes and intense smoke from the hot grill were definitely issues, saying that the charcoal grill is not good, especially the excessive smoke. Not originally from the country, Nawar said his cart is certainly unhealthy.

Apparently, a co-owner of a pizza cart, Anisa Moloney showed her appreciation regarding the modern carts, specifically pointing out to its environmental benefits. However, could not give up her special wood-burning ovens that are custom-fitted to her current cart. She further explained that the new carts will certainly help the atmosphere, if only she could give up her specially-designed cart.

The modern carts were designed by the MOVE systems, and were called “MRV100”. The city councilman and council speaker welcomed the new carts, while on display at a news conference. The councilman and council speaker also manage the environmental conservation committee.

The MRV100 measures five-feet in width, ten-feet long, and eight-feet in height. It has a sleek design compared to the conventional types of food carts around. It also has refrigeration, restaurant-quality ventilation, plus a cleaner, quieter power system.

After the Memorial Day, the new carts will start hitting the streets – Madison Ave, Fifth Ave, Eighth Ave, and other streets; although only 100 leases have been signed so far. All 500 carts will be used until next year as the authorities are still waiting for more signees. Interested vendors who want to switch to the modern cart can sign up anytime, while other models are also available through the provider’s showroom.

CEO James Meeks said once the number of cart pilots is met, the vendors can renew their lease, while the cart provider will add more carts without cost to the proprietor. Meeks added that the carts have not been valued for sale. All types of culinary experiences will be accommodated from the traditional halal vendors to hotdog vendors, and other specialty cuisines.

Meeks also explained that he wanted to test the carts in one of the cities in the country that has the most-established and most vibrant ecosystem for food carts. This simply means a lot of emissions and pollutants, but he added the carts will be working in safer environments.


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