November 7, 2018

NEW YORK, NY – Transform Don’t Trash NYC, a coalition of community, environmental, safe streets, and labor organizations, released the following statement on the commercial waste zone implementation plan announced today by the New York City Department of Sanitation and the upcoming City Council legislative process to put it into effect.

“The commercial waste zone plan introduced by Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Garcia is an important first step toward reforming a private carting industry that pollutes our air, landfills recyclable waste, mistreats small businesses, and recklessly endangers pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and workers alike. While this plan represents potential for real progress, more needs to be done. Our coalition applauds the mayor and DSNY for its vision, but urges the City Council to take the mayor’s plan as a starting point and strengthen it.

“To get the maximum benefit from the policy, and use this rare opportunity to holistically reform a broken system, the City must limit one carter to each waste zone, hold them to aggressive recycling and waste reduction goals, set high minimum wages, and increase standards for waste export. This is our opportunity to deeply transform this industry by improving conditions for workers and for the communities of color living near waste transfer stations and they should not be left with half measures.

“The waste zone policy will reduce the thousands of miles traveled by private sanitation trucks every night by putting an end to routes that crisscross each other over many neighborhoods and multiple boroughs. Carters will finally be held to basic safety standards, after years of worker and pedestrian deaths. Small and large businesses alike will get fair and transparent pricing, access to recycling and composting services, and recourse against poor customer service.

“This policy can be a major green job generator for New York City and our region, and create opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses facing barriers in the current waste industry. By exporting less waste to landfills and incentivizing private investment in the composting and recycling infrastructure our City needs, this reform can create thousands of sustainable, local jobs and substantially reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

“A new day for this industry is around the corner and we look forward to working with the City Council and the administration to ensure that the waste zone policy truly transforms private sanitation.”

About Transform Don’t Trash NYC

Transform Don’t Trash NYC is a growing coalition dedicated to transforming New York City’s commercial trash industry to reduce waste and pollution, foster clean and healthy communities for all New Yorkers, and create good jobs. The coalition includes ALIGN, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, the Teamsters Union, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Transportation Alternatives, and dozens of other organizations and small businesses.