The City of New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has published its 2019 Strategic Plan Update, three years after the release of the department’s first-ever strategic plan. The plan is a blueprint to fortify DSNY’s services, enhance employee and public safety, modernize the department’s fleet and facilities, develop the department’s workforce and lead New Yorkers to send zero waste to landfills. The 2019 update provides a progress report on these goals.
“Over the last year, we have reached milestones that have been many years in the making,” said DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia in the report. “The city’s ban on foam products and the statewide effort to ban plastic bags will finally eradicate two harmful and unnecessary products from our waste stream. The implementation of the Waste Equity law and the opening of the city’s final two marine transfer stations represent significant progress on completion of the Solid Waste Management Plan. The newest initiative we have committed to in this year’s progress update—to implement a commercial waste zone system—will complement these successes.”
Highlights of the 2019 Strategic Plan Update, which covers fiscal year 2019, include the following:
- DSNY launched an outreach campaign, Make Compost, Not Trash, focused on facilitating behavior change at the neighborhood and community level to help increase participation in curbside organics collection programs.
- DSNY added more than 600 apartment buildings to its curbside organics program and increased the number of food scrap drop-off sites to 165, up from 113 last June.
- DSNY collaborated with the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board and Pratt Industries to launch the Manhattan Paper Challenge, tasking community boards with increasing their paper recycling rates to win financial awards.
- DSNY grew participation in the ecycleNYC electronics recycling program by nearly 1,000 buildings; the program now serves 35 percent of the city’s 10-plus unit buildings. DSNY also expanded curbside e-waste collection service to include all of Brooklyn and western Queens.
- DSNY collected nearly 5 million pounds of textiles in the refashionNYC textile recycling program.
- In May, DSNY launched a new food donation portal as part of the donateNYC reuse and donation platform to facilitate connections for local food donations.
- DSNY completed the final two conversions of the city’s marine transfer stations.
- DSNY fully implemented turn-by-turn routing technology in its snow fleet and more than doubled the number of paperless field locations with the implementation of its SMART 3.0 personnel and equipment scheduling system.
- DSNY welcomed its first chief supplier diversity officer, allowing for more centralized efforts to increase opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises in agency contracts.
- DSNY appointed a chief learning officer, a dedicated office for the design and implementation of professional development programs for all employees.
Originally, DSNY committed to 12 goals and 46 corresponding initiatives to guide its work. In June 2018, four additional initiatives were added to build on successes and redouble efforts to achieve long-term goals. This year, DSNY has introduced one new initiative. To date, the department has now achieved 27 initiatives, up from 21 at this time last year. An additional 17 initiatives have been partially achieved and five others are underway.