The Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Committee, chaired by Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn), examined proposals to regulate the trade waste hauling industry last week. The focus was Int. 1574-2019, which would divide the City into at least 20 commercial waste zones (CWZs), where a single waste hauling company would have the exclusive right to collect trash. This model diverges from a Department of Sanitation proposal to allow three to five carters per zone. The aim of both plans is to reduce pollution, improve worker and pedestrian safety, and make collection routes more efficient.
GNYHA Executive Vice President for Legal, Regulatory, and Professional Affairs Susan Waltman testified. She expressed support for the legislation’s goals, but outlined concerns about its potential impact on hospitals, which are extremely sensitive to service changes and cost increases and require special service for numerous waste streams. Moreover, hospitals do not contribute to the route inefficiencies that CWZ programs seek to remedy—most of their waste is collected in large compactor containers and delivered directly to transfer stations.
Council Member Reynoso recognized hospitals’ unique situation and expressed a willingness to address our concerns. GNYHA will continue to engage the City Council and de Blasio Administration as they work on the bill.