If this remained voluntary it might not be such a bad idea. Responsible citizens are complying with the voluntary program.

When they mention citations and fines for recycling, I wonder how many of those are in the South Bronx, or other "notorious" parts of NYC? I wonder how many of those they collect.

I'm sure that a mandatory program would collect a lot of fines from the drug dealers and gang bangers, right? Criminals will remain criminals.

The least they could do for their law-abiding citizens is to keep the program voluntary so that responsible citizens are not penalized for occasional omissions. Or is it just another way to get some additional city revenue from people whom the city believes can afford to contribute more to city coffers?

The city cites good compliance in Staten Island (historically a working class area). Sounds like what one would expect, huh? In return for that, Staten Island was the "orphan child" when it came to Hurricane Sandy ... while Manhattan lost power for a very short period of time.

Why not a "reverse fine" for compliance? Give a property tax credit for properties that show high compliance with the voluntary system. Reward compliance rather than penalize non-compliance (since the gross offenders may never pay their penalties anyhow. If the city will really save millions by using composting, then one should reward the citizens who contribute to the savings by returning a portion of those savings to those who made it possible. If you're going to send people around to check on non-compliance, you can use those same people (and whatever costs may be involved in paying those people), to reward compliance.