Commercial waste zones start in the fall
The Department of Sanitation collects 12,000 tons of residential waste a day, but businesses across New York City have to pay for private garbage pick up. The process has been unregulated and has caused congestion and even death.
“When you’re driving around here, a lot of tight streets, a lot of pedestrians,” one driver told News 12 New York.
Up until recently, there were more than 90 commercial garbage companies serving the five boroughs. Now, because of 2019’s Local Law 199, that number has been whittled down to 18. The law was designed to reform the system by improving safety, reducing vehicle miles and harmful emissions. Josh Haraf is the market vice president for Action Carting Environmental Services – one of the companies that received a contract.
“There were studies that were released that showed certain blocks that had 30 different companies collecting on one street in Manhattan. That’s very inefficient wear and tear on the streets. It’s not great for the environment so the Department of Sanitation decided to step in and make change,” Haraf told News 12 New York.
He says that change will reduce truck traveled miles by 50%. He says it also may save lives. According to the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, at least 43 people died and more than 100 were injured in accidents involving commercial trucks from 2010-2019.
“By taking more trucks off the road, public safety is going to benefit from this,” Haraf said.
And so is the economy. Action Carting plans to add at least a few hundred jobs in the next three years. Haraf says the companies that weren’t awarded contracts may have to expand their footprint or fold, but for those who were - expansion is imminent.
“The final numbers are still be drawn out for realization, but we expect to more than double in size,” he added.
Local businesses can visit the New York City Department of Sanitation website to find out how to sign up for private waste collection. The Commercial Waste Zones implementation will start in the fall.