Mayor de Blasio calls waste zone legislation signing a win for industry workers

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Legislation overhauling the city's commercial waste program was signed Wednesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio is calling the legislation a win for industry workers, environmental justice and New Yorkers. Officials say that the industry known for being dangerous and polluting communities will finally change due to the signing of the Commercial Waste Zones legislation.

Under the legislation, the city will be divided into 20 zones. Each of these zones will be served up to three carters, which will be selected through a competitive bidding process. Also, commercial waste zones will reduce truck traffic and mileage by more than 50%.

The law requires training requirements for all workers and the creation of a safety task force to recommend further steps to protect workers and the public's safety. There are also incentives that will be created for selected haulers to provide recycling and organics collection, and using low- or zero-emission trucks.

While de Blasio said that not all private sanitation companies were bad in how they were run and treated their workers, he said there were a lot of problems. Those problems included the 28 New Yorkers who were killed by private carters since 2010.

News 12 has covered Sanitation Salvage in particular, a company that has lost its license after protests, investigations and being responsible for the deaths of a pedestrian and an employee.

Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, the chair of the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, says the legislation has been years in the making. He says it will have a positive impact on the quality of life and health of New Yorkers.

He says the legislation is personal to him and his neighbors.

Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia assured the city's 100,000 commercial businesses that use private carters that service is the highest priority. She also says these companies will be held accountable for their service.

Next year, DSNY will release a request for proposals from interested waste haulers. It expects the transition process to happen in 2021.

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