NEW YORK - New York is different. But starting this weekend it is just a little less so.
As of yesterday, residents of the nation's largest city are allowed to own garbage disposals.
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.
But New Yorkers aren't lining up to have the 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 chewing 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.