Commercial Waste Reform Policy Gains Support of Legislators

June 3, 2017

By Tara Jessup

June 1, 2017 
By Stephanie West

New York, NY –  A 2016 report by the Department of Sanitation found that transitioning commercial waste to a zone-system would reduce garbage truck emissions by 42 percent to 64 percent.

This would reduce overall carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. The new policy would allow the City to comprehensively regulate the industry for the first time, requiring high recycling rates, good wages and safety standards for workers. Both  Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James have announced support for the Department of Sanitation’s commercial waste zone policy.

“Commercial sanitation has a lot of problems, from environmental injustice to unsafe, low-pay jobs,” said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. “A strong, well-planned franchise system will ensure good jobs for workers and a safer environment for all New Yorkers. We need to make the policy a reality, so that our city can have a commercial sanitation system that we can be proud of, from collection to disposal.”

The de Blasio administration in 2016 proposed this program in which zones of the city would be served by specific private sanitation companies. Clearly this would reducing truck traffic and allow the City to hold companies to strict standards for vehicle emissions, environmental justice, labor practices, and recycling.

“Many communities across the City shoulder more than their fair share of the trash burden in New York City,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “With the high rates of pollution associated with diesel pollution, now is the time to act. The City’s commercial waste zone policy is the right path forward for addressing the many problems caused by the private sanitation industry. I will do all I can to ensure the policy is implemented so we can clean our air and protect our communities.

With all three of New York’s city-wide elected officials now supporting the commercial waste zone policy, the Department of Sanitation is procuring a consultant to develop the final waste zone plan.

Additional information

June 3, 2017

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