City of New York Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia
“The magnitude of the improvements in air quality and reduction in truck traffic coupled with the projected stable pricing for businesses the study found are compelling reasons for implementation of commercial waste collection zones. This study is the first step toward developing a more efficient and effective commercial waste collection system in New York City for businesses, employees and the public at large. We are excited to work with the City Council and industry partners to develop a comprehensive plan to achieve these environmental benefits while also improving safety standards for workers and achieving our zero waste goals.”
Commissioner of the Business Integrity Commission Daniel Brownell
“The trade waste industry has made great strides in the last twenty years since the Business Integrity Commission was formed. However, the results of the study released today are compelling. It is clear that we should move ahead in our examination of how a zone collection model for commercial waste removal in the city could help (i) reduce truck traffic and vehicle emissions, (ii) achieve greater recycling rates, especially for organic materials, (iii) and create greater uniformity in the trade waste industry as a whole. BIC particularly thanks the DSNY staff who worked very hard and effectively to manage the study with the consultants. Going forward, as we look to fashion the right zone collection system for the specific needs of New York, it will be critical that the interests of all affected parties are part of the design conversation.”
The National Waste & Recycling Association
“The National Waste & Recycling Association applauds New York City for being forward-thinking in pursuing its environmental goals in such a complex urban environment, however, as the national organization representing America’s waste and recycling industry, there are serious concerns about the efficacy of the study released on the proposal for commercial waste zones. The member companies of our New York City Chapter are dedicated to—and deliver every day—a vital service based on providing high-quality, efficient service in an open and competitive market that benefits city businesses and industry. No organization matches the track record of our members in helping communities nationwide in implementing and delivering on environmental management goals and objectives. Our experience nationwide shows that proposals such as these unfairly limit competition, and limited competition can lead to negative consequences. That is why the City of Chicago rejected such proposals in order to maintain an open, competitive
SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman
"SWANA was briefed earlier this week by DSNY Commissioner Garcia concerning the study and has been in frequent contact with DSNY and its consultants over the past year regarding various aspects of the study. We appreciate the city's outreach to SWANA and others in the industry and look forward to working with DSNY, other city officials and our members as the city moves forward."
Kendall Christiansen, Manager of NWRA’s New York City Chapter
“Shifting to a district-based system of commercial waste services would constitute a major change with a multitude of impacts—both known and unknown; the next phase of discussions must give due consideration to alternate paths to achieve mutual goals, as well as carefully assess the trade-offs between various options. New York City is well-served by a robust and competitive marketplace that already is substantially consolidated and efficient, with customer choice the keystone of that system. We welcome the opportunity to review the city’s initial analysis, and work with the city and interested stakeholders to consider options for further improving the performance of the city’s waste and recycling sector.”
Partnership for Working Families Executive Director Nikki Fortunato Bas
“The debate on how to pick up and manage urban trash and recycling is over. The two biggest cities in our nation agree; a new, smarter system delivers for us all. Working people and communities have been heard. Implementing this system will mean better wages and safer jobs for those who collect our waste, healthier air for our residents, far less waste contributing to climate change and less traffic in our neighborhoods. The momentum to fix our broken waste management system is spreading across the country and our most innovative cities are leading that charge.”
Mike Hellstrom, Business Manager, Laborers Local 108
“Commissioner Garcia's position on franchising/carting reform highlights her lack of respect for the concerns of the hard-working men and women in the industry.
Let's be clear—this proposal does nothing to require safety standards for the men and women that execute the dangerous work to keep this city safe and clean. It also does very little to address the concerns of the environmental community. Lastly, it will take years to implement, rather than incorporating reforms now.
We have repeatedly expressed to the administration our concerns, not only with franchising but with their support for Intro 495, being pushed by Council member Antonio Reynoso, an unquestionable job killer for members and families of Laborers Local 108.
Our repeated requests to be heard on these matters before any policy decision be released fell on deaf ears. Instead, Commissioner Garcia chose to surround herself with people spewing misinformation, with zero regard for the union families of Local 108.
New York City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Chair of the Council Committee on Sanitation
“I want to thank the administration, particularly the Department of Sanitation, for taking on this complicated issue. Since I’ve been overseeing the private carting industry as chair of the Council’s Committee on Sanitation, I’ve referred to it as the ‘wild, wild west’ because it is inefficient and unregulated. A collection zone system will give us the opportunity to promote sustainability, improve worker safety, get dangerous trucks off the streets and, in general, improve what is now a very problematic industry. I look forward to working with DSNY, businesses, industry representatives and advocates to create an implementation plan that will transform our current system into a sustainable model for the future.”
New York City Council Member Brad Lander
“By moving to zoned-collection for commercial waste, we can reduce emissions, improve recycling, transform bad jobs into good ones and save money for many small businesses. We're thrilled that the DSNY study reveals the strong benefits of switching to a zoned system and look forward to working with them on legislation to make it a reality for NYC."
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer
"Trash pickup and waste management is a fundamental piece of keeping a large city running—with huge impacts on sustainability, quality of life, small business and public health. These proposed reforms to private carting have the potential to reduce pollution, improve labor standards and make this industry work better. I look forward to working with the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board to review and assist with this promising new policy shift.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
"I thank DSNY Commissioner Garcia and BIC Commissioner Brownell for their close study of the private carting industry in our city, results that make a compelling case for meaningful commercial waste reform. There is an environmental and public health imperative that we face to clean up the air we breathe, just as there is a substantial need to address the traffic and noise pollution concerns that have long hampered neighborhood quality of life. I look forward to working with the de Blasio administration to further the work toward a cleaner, safer and more holistically equitable city for everyone."
Daniel Zarrilli, NYC’s Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer
“Meeting the city’s climate change goals will require aggressive action and collaboration. This study presents a clear opportunity to improve how private carting works across the city, resulting not only in more efficient operations, cleaner air and quieter nights for all New Yorkers, but also reduced greenhouse gas emissions that come from optimizing trucking routes.This Zero Waste initiative, as part of our OneNYC program, is helping us to build a more sustainable, more resilient and more equitable city.”
Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters
"The results of this study show the potential that commercial franchise zones have to significantly reduce emissions from garbage truck traffic and to boost organic waste recycling in the commercial sector. If these operational efficiencies are fully realized, it will be a great help toward staying on track to meet the city's OneNYC goals. We applaud Mayor de Blasio, DSNY and BIC for their thoughtful consideration of this proposed solution and for bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders to craft an implementation plan that takes into account environmental justice, business and the private carting industry."
Eric A. Goldstein, New York City Environment Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council
“This study offers proof positive that a commercial waste zone approach could slash diesel truck traffic, global warming emissions and ground level air pollution in neighborhoods across this city. And it holds the potential for increased recycling, more sustainable waste handling and justice for private sanitation workers. We welcome this authoritative analysis and look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio and Sanitation Commissioner Garcia to insure that the progressive goals we share are translated into a lasting reform of the commercial waste system.”
Peter Madonia, Chief Operating Officer, The Rockefeller Foundation
“The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to making cities around the world more resilient and today's announcement moves New York City closer to that goal. I applaud the city for its commitment to working with businesses, the carting industry, and other stakeholders to improve the handling of commercial waste in the five boroughs. This effort is critical to achieving the city's OneNYC resilience goals."
Matt Ryan, Executive Director, ALIGN
"ALIGN applauds the decision of Mayor de Blasio and Sanitation Commissioner Garcia to reform of the private sanitation industry and implement commercial waste zones. This marks a major turning point for New York City after years of harm communities, workers and the environment. We are eager to work together for this change that will cut emissions, improve worker safety and help meet NYC's 2030 zero waste goal."
Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, NYC-EJA
“The NYC Environmental Justice Alliance applauds Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Sanitation and the Business Integrity Commission for tackling NYC’s largest unresolved solid waste challenge: our commercial waste system. For nearly three decades, low income communities of color have sought relief from an inefficient “free market” commercial waste system that consigned the vast majority of the city’s commercial waste handling to a handful of communities of color. By pursuing commercial waste zones, the City of New York stands to drastically reduce truck traffic, greenhouse gasses and other co-pollutants, while driving up commercial recycling rates—thereby helping us meet Mayor de Blasio's twin goals of reducing NYC’s carbon footprint and reaching for Zero Waste solutions. We again applaud the Mayor’s commitment to addressing the city’s sustainability goals in a more environmentally just manner. We welcome the opportunity to work with the administration on helping design a commercial waste zoning system
George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16
“Mayor de Blasio’s plan will transform commercial sanitation to protect New York City residents, workers and businesses. The administration collected the data and these facts don’t lie. Today’s private sanitation industry is grossly inefficient, impacting our roads, air quality and safety. This is the plan we need to create a private sanitation industry that New York can be proud of.”
Harry Nespoli, President of Teamsters Local 831, the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association
“Our members at the Department of Sanitation have safety protections at work and take a fair paycheck home to their families. All workers deserve respect, a safe environment and a fair wage.”
Justin Wood, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
“The reform supported by this unprecedented report is a win for NYC’s small businesses, our communities and our shared environment. Most small business owners are eager to cost-effectively recycle more and see less garbage on the streets, but the current ad-hoc waste system offers them very little in the way of incentives, education and accountability on recycling and waste reduction. Lacking market leverage, small businesses also pay 38 percent more for garbage services than larger customers. A competitive waste zone system will ensure that all customers are treated equitably, will reward businesses for diverting waste from landfills and will ensure that waste haulers provide the education and customer service necessary to boost our citywide recycling rate.”
Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives
“Establishing commercial waste collection zones is an important step in New York City's initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Our neighborhoods already have far too much dangerous truck traffic, and the way commercial haulers currently pick up waste makes the problem much worse. We thank Mayor de Blasio for showing Vision Zero leadership by making this recommendation as part of a larger effort to make waste hauling companies' operating practices safer."
Sean Campbell, President of Teamsters Local 813
“We have been working in the shadows for too long, but Mayor de Blasio is shining the light on this industry. What was once a good, union job is now too often a dangerous, low-wage job. The reforms that Mayor de Blasio announced today are giving renewed hope to the working families of the New York commercial sanitation industry that they can have the American Dream, too.”
Bill Lipton, New York State Director, Working Families Party
"We applaud the mayor, Department of Sanitation and Business Integrity Commission on taking this step to create a better commercial waste industry and a healthier city. Establishing commercial waste zones should reduce truck traffic, improve our air quality and help us meet our climate goals. This is a step forward for New York that will improve our communities health and standards for workers in the industry—turning the current chaos into a system that works for all New York's working families."
Deborah Axt Co-Executive Director, Make the Road New York
“We commend the mayor for initiating much needed improvements in the private sanitation industry. Community members, small business and workers will benefit from increased transparency and stricter sustainability goals. Improving labor standards in the industry is of particular importance. The majority of private sanitation workers are immigrants and people of color, far too of whom are scraping by on poverty wages and laboring in dangerous, unsanitary conditions. We look forward to a private sanitation industry that better serves the needs of all New Yorkers.”
Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst)
“The recommendations in this study highlight New York City and the Department of Sanitation’s commitment to better environmental practices and a higher standard of living for all New Yorkers. These commercial waste zones have the potential to dramatically reduce truck traffic and emissions, and I commend the Department of Sanitation and the Business Integrity Commission for their work on this issue.”
Assembly member Brian Kavanagh, Chair of the New York State Caucus of Environmental Legislators
“Taking action to avert climate change requires us to rethink virtually everything we do. Fortunately—as with so many other measures that will help us reduce climate changing pollution—the reforms proposed for the commercial carting industry will have many benefits, including safer, quieter, less congested streets and reduced costs for small businesses. I applaud Commissioners Garcia and Brownell for taking this on.”