February 8, 2016

By David Giambusso

The Working Families Party will announce later today that it is joining a city coalition of labor an environmental advocates pushing for reforms to the city’s private waste industry.

The Transform Don’t Trash NYC group was formed to push for regulatory changes governing the hundreds of private carters and waste transfer stations that are responsible for all of the city’s commercial garbage pickup and disposal.

Many industry actors are accused by the group of exploiting workers with low wages and subpar training, not recycling according to city regulations, and exposing the city to excessive truck traffic through inefficient collection routes.

One of the principal goals of the group is to establish commercial collection zones which would make one contractor responsible for refuse pickup in specific areas of the city — a move that private carters oppose saying it will curb free market competition.

The city is currently conducting a study of the industry and the feasibility of establishing the collection zones.

“This is a great opportunity for our city to demonstrate its commitment to a zero waste future with maximum recycling and good jobs,” said Bill Lipton, State Director of New York Working Families, in a statement provided to POLITICO.”We can and should transform our archaic commercial waste system into a highly effective national model.”

The move is the latest foray of New York’s WFP into environmental advocacy after helping kick off NY Renews in December — a coalition of labor and environmental groups pushing for more climate change regulation in Albany.

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