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Queens Chronicle

Details emerge on trash zone proposal

Bill would set zones with exclusive contracts for commercial customers

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:19 pm, Thu Sep 19, 2019.

A bill that would overhaul the collection of commercial waste in New York City continues to wend its way through the legislative process.

Intro. 1574, a 48-page document, would divide the city into at least 20 zones. The collection of trash from commercial customers would be awarded to one collector per zone, who also would have to provide recycling and organics collection.

Proponents say the benefits are myriad [see related story in some editions or online at qchron.com].

Residents of Jamaica and three other neighborhoods that have the largest concentration of private trash haulers and environmental groups say zones will reduce the number of garbage truck trips in the city, thus reducing pollution, noise and wear and tear on neighborhood roads.

It does not appear to address legal limits on tonnage of garbage that is processed in a given community district, a measure that had been debated in earlier proposals.

The city and labor unions representing workers also say Intro. 1547 would provide workers with higher pay, better training and safer working conditions — more than 20 people, both private trash workers and others, have been killed in accidents involving private waste trucks or companies since 2016.

Department of Sanitation personnel would be authorized to assure collection under any circumstances that might interrupt work by an authorized carter.

The bill also would establish tighter regulation of the trucks themselves for pollution and safety purposes.

Critics within the business community fear having only one collector per zone will result in higher prices because of a lack of competition.

Smaller carters are concerned that they will lose money or go out of business, and that workers will lose their jobs.

The primary sponsor is Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn, Queens), who chairs the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste. Co-sponsors from Queens include Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) and Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton).

Reynoso’s office provided the Chronicle with a breakdown of the major aspects of the bill and clarified the legal language.

Under the existing bill:

• the DSNY would have contracts with the private carters to which franchises are awarded, the contracts that would establish maximum rates that could be charged;

• contracts between carters and the city will be for 10 years, while those between carters and the businesses in their zones could not exceed two years;

• the DSNY would have jurisdiction to investigate consumer complaints involving the carters; and

• there would be a maximum number of zone franchises that a single bidder could be awarded, but the number would be subject to ongoing negotiations.

There is not yet a date set for a vote on a final bill.

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1 comment:

  • Linnster posted at 10:42 am on Fri, Sep 13, 2019.

    Linnster Posts: 10

    Regulations for the hours which the carters may operate should also be hashed out. Action Carting, which collects refuse from the Central Queens YMHA on 108th Street, often makes their pickups after midnight, sometimes as late (or early, if you will) as 3:30 AM. Invariably, we are awakened by the beeping of the truck backing up and the steel containers being raised atop the truck and then slammed back down onto the sidewalk. This happens twice a week, both on days when we have work the next day. I understand that they prefer to pick up when there is less traffic than during the day, but those of us who live within earshot have a right to a peaceful night's sleep, too.