Sanitation Salvage involved in two fatal crashes in just six months

A coalition of labor, safe streets, and Bronx community organizations are calling on the New York City Business Integrity Commission to suspend the license of Sanitation Salvage, a Bronx waste hauler that killed a local resident in a crash last Friday. The fatal crash was Sanitation Salvage’s second in six months, and the carter ranks worst in the city for safety violations. Sanitation Salvage is one of the city’s largest private sanitation companies.

The letter, addressed to BIC Commissioner Daniel Brownell, is available here. It is signed by leaders from Transportation Alternatives, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, The Point, Teamsters Joint Council 16, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, ALIGN, Mothers on the Move, and Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice.

New York City law empowers BIC to license and oversee private sanitation companies. BIC has the power to immediately suspend a private carter’s license without prior hearing if the company’s operation “creates an imminent danger to life or property.” Sanitation Salvage’s track record demonstrates the danger it poses.

In addition to the two recent fatalities, Sanitation Salvage has a track record of putting trucks on the road that are unsafe to operate. Over the past two years, Sanitation Salvage’s trucks were inspected 12 times by government regulators and violations were found in every inspection. Ten of those inspections – 83% – had such severe violations that the trucks were ordered out of service. This is four-times greater than the national average failure rate of 21%.

The company also has the highest number of violations per vehicle among the city’s top twenty carters.

Sanitation Salvage workers have described dangerous practices at the company, the advocates say. According to the company’s workers, they are not provided with safety training or safety equipment that is required by law. They also report that they must work extremely long hours to complete their long routes, making them too tired to drive safely.

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