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Extension of Comment Period for DSNY Commercial Waste Zone Rule

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Rule status: Withdrawn

Agency: DSNY

Comment by date: February 9, 2021

Rule Full Text

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the written comment period for the proposed rule of the Department of Sanitation that would establish requirements for carters operating in commercial waste zones published in the City Record on December 18, 2020 has been extended from January 26, 2021 until February 9, 2021.

Attendees who need reasonable accommodation for a disability such as a sign language translation should contact the agency by calling or emailing by May 25, 2024

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  • Email: [email protected]
  • Mail: DSNY, Bureau of Legal Affairs, 125 Worth Street Room/Floor: Room 710 ; New York, New York 10013

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January 26, 2021
9:30am - 10:30am EDT


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Disability Accommodation

Comments are now closed.

Online comments: 4

  • Frank Cinelli

    under compliance history 1.A.4
    part C your asking to provide records of the current wage schedule and applicable benefits for proposers employees.
    We are in contract with a union as far as wage increases and benefits go I can send you parts of that contract. For the records schedule do you want want a list of the employees and what the make hourly or payroll records
    Thank You Frank Cinelli

    Comment added January 26, 2021 11:13am
  • Louis Fava

    On behalf of Liverpool Carting Company, we are submitting this comment in response to the DSNY’s Commercial Waste Zones law.

    The current structure of the Commercial Waste Zones plan, from the bidding requirements to the zoning, essentially eliminates the chance for small businesses to obtain a bid. Many small companies do not possess the trucking capacity to pick up an entire zone, leaving us at a significant disadvantage. In addition, the incredibly limited number of zones per borough designated by this plan renders small companies unable to compete with larger companies.

    While representatives from the DSNY and others have stated to media outlets that small businesses do have a chance to win a bid, I fail to see how that will be possible considering the structural aspects of this plan. As Justin Bland stated, “We don’t think the number of companies is an inherently bad thing…We want the best companies to get contracts, not just the biggest. It has to be the best.” The DSNY’s plan simply does not match this statement. Antonio Reynoso has also made multiple statements which are seemingly empty. He stated: “If you have a history of doing work in the city, and it’s good work and you have a lot of clients, then we want to give you a shot at that zone.” “We’re not trying to go after these carting companies that are doing the right thing. We want them to continue to do work in the city
    of New York. They are meeting a standard that we believe is a New York standard.”

    Small carting companies already operate in a saturated market with little opportunity for expansion. The larger carting companies occupy a majority of the market, and possess the capacity, and the willingness, to accept new customers throughout multiple boroughs. Small companies like Liverpool Carting do not possess that capacity, nor the willingness to travel from borough to borough picking up stops. The CWZ wants to stop the zig-zagging and overlap in business, meanwhile, the smaller companies are the ones doing this the least.

    The CWZ plan aims to promote safety, efficiency, and organization for New York’s sanitation industry. Many small companies already make efforts to operate as such, and have consolidated their routes for efficiency concerns, yet they may lose their livelihood to larger, historically less efficient companies simply due to size.

    Rather than rushing forward with this plan, which will inevitably pose major operational and structural issues, I strongly encourage the DSNY to make revisions. This plan should be structured in order to account for the small businesses that are operational today, rather than effectively ousting them from the industry. Many small businesses have been operating in accordance with the principles and manners the CWZ plan has outlined, and cutting those businesses out of the market in favor of larger businesses would be unethical. I propose that rule-makers work side-by-side with the current players, and collaborate to create a structure that accomplishes all of the CWZ’s goals, in a manner that allows for businesses of all sizes to survive.

    One structural suggestion to this plan is that the CWZ should amend the Zone Framework to allow for more zones per area of each borough. Small companies which already operate in specific areas could potentially keep the bulk of their business, rather than lose it to a larger company. The current Zone Framework is much too limited, and this simple change would give the smaller businesses a better, more fair opportunity to compete.

    In addition, my 75 years of business have led me to recognize certain necessities in this industry. Please consider the following suggestions for requirements/regulations that are not included in the current CWZ plan, but will help achieve some of the current plan’s stated safety goals:

    1. DSNY trucks should be required to operate during night-time hours only. This would allow them to pick up twice as much rubbish in half the time. During the day-time hours, the streets are filled with pedestrians, taxis, buses, and the like. New York City traffic conditions are difficult as is, and DSNY trucks operating during the day further contributes to the issue. Additionally, DSNY trucks stop on one-way streets for long periods of time as they pick up trash from multiple stops. This creates a long line of traffic which other vehicles cannot escape. This system is wholly unsuitable for a populous city like New York. In response to the issues that sanitation trucks create during day-time hours, my company opted to operate between the hours of 8 PM and 3 AM. During these late hours, traffic is minimal, and the number of pedestrians is significantly lower. As a result, my company’s safety and traffic record is unblemished.

    2. The DSNY should also recommend low-entry trucks for safety purposes. Many companies currently operate trucks that make it extremely difficult to see in front of the nose of their truck. This leads to wholly avoidable, sometimes fatal accidents, due to a lack of visibility. These trucks pose a major safety hazard, and should not be allowed on the roads of a densely populated city like New York.

    3. Split-body trucks should be recommended by the DSNY, as they allow carters to pick up multiple different types of trash with just one truck. Regular trucks can pick up either recycling or trash, but not both. This capacity allows for less trucks on the road, and less environmental emissions.

    I strongly urge the DSNY to consider these comments before setting this plan into motion. The current CWZ structure will create life-changing consequences for small companies that are operating efficiently and safely. As the long-time owner of a carting company, I fully support changes being made to this industry, as many are needed. However, the CWZ plan in its current form is simply not the best way to accomplish them.

    Comment added February 8, 2021 12:08pm
  • CB11M Public Safety & Transportation Committee

    The New York City Department of Sanitation (“DSNY”) is proposing a rule that would establish requirements for carters operating in commercial waste zones. The Public Safety & Transportation Committee of Manhattan Community Board 11 submits the following comments for consideration of the Agency.

    Commercial businesses produce varying levels of waste across different industries. Businesses with less commercial waste should not be priced the same as those that produce a significant amount of waste (ie. restaurants). Therefore, DSNY should implement a tiered pricing system based on volume of waste.
    At our Committee Meeting on January 5th, 2021, we learned that there are very few carting companies registered as Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE). It is our committee’s position that DSNY should encourage M/WBE participation in this competitive procurement process. We also encourage DSNY to support M/WBE pipeline development within the carting industry.

    DSNY should track and monitor fair compensation practices and labor practices in all subcontractor relationships.
    DSNY should consider decreasing the contract length from 10 years to 5 years with the option for renewal after 5 years based on performance. Prior to renewal, DSNY should reach out to local community boards to receive feedback about the performance of carting companies.

    Lastly, DSNY should provide annual updates to community boards regarding the progress of Commercial Waste Zones implementation.
    Should you have any questions, please reach out to Jose Altamirano at [email protected]

    Comment added February 9, 2021 10:11am
  • Oliver Wright

    This commentary is presented on behalf of the Brooklyn Solid Waste Advisory Board (BkSWAB) and Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (MSWAB). We are grateful for the opportunity to present commentary on the proposed rule changes. Given the SWABs’ position as volunteer citizens’ boards, and acknowledging that much discussion between DSNY and the commercial waste industry will be required to finalize the regulations from the logistical side, our commentary is focused on elements within the proposed rule changes that will support local businesses to manage their waste more sustainably through clear guidance, incentives to reduce and recycle, and access to consistent and accurate data.

    Our comments on specific sections are as follows:

    Subchapter B, §20-21 (a) 2 (page 10): Rates for collection of designated recyclable materials and source separated organic waste must be proportionally lower than rates for refuse collection services
    It is important for the incentivization of recycling that it is cheaper than refuse. This rule change is positive but remains vague: rates could remain so close as to be meaningless. A minimum threshold for the difference in rates, commensurate with market conditions (e.g. recycling must
    be 10% cheaper) would strengthen this rule.

    §20-22 (a) 2 (page 12): An awardee must offer to each commercial establishment within a zone for which the awardee has been awarded an agreement including the following minimum level of service:
    (i) At least two days of refuse collection per week;
    (ii) At least one day of designated recyclable materials collection per week; and
    (iii) If the commercial establishment is a designated covered establishment, at least one day of source separated organics collection per week.
    While the rules state that there is no issue with agreeing to fewer collections, the default balance of collections in the minimum level of service is still slanted in favor of refuse rather than recycling. A business that is recycling effectively will create as much, or more, recycling than
    refuse; to truly send the message that recycling is a priority, this should be reflected in equal levels of service as standard.
    Additionally, the current language implies that an awardee in a particular zone must have the capacity to potentially serve every business within that zone. This has the potential to disproportionately favor larger carters and disadvantage smaller local carters including micro haulers. In line with City Council Resolution of 0864-2019 declaring a climate emergency and President Biden’s recent executive actions on climate change, this rule and future rules on subcontracting throughout the RFP process should encourage awardees to pursue local solutions for processing of waste, in particular organic waste, where possible.

    §20-22 (b) 2 (page 13): reasons for denial or termination
    The reasons for denial or termination of service do not explicitly include “persistent contamination of recycling”. Although it may qualify as an “other good cause… consistent with the purposes of title 16-B” for refusal of collection, at present the burden of proof sits unduly with the carter who must continue to service the business until any dispute is resolved. A solution would be to allow the carter to collect previously uncollected contaminated recycling as refuse, and charge the customer at the refuse rate for this.

    §20-23 (a) 2 (page 15): An awardee may only refuse to collect commercial waste from a customer set out on a particular day resulting in the non collection of commercial waste, in the following circumstances: (2) Designated recyclable materials or source separated organic waste
    with contamination of at least 10 percent.
    It is unclear how the level of contamination is determined by the carter. This should be clearly explained to allow for consistency of assessment by different carters.

    §20-27 (a) 6 (page 22): (charges to be included on bill): An itemized list of actual charges being imposed detailing: The weight or volume of refuse, designated recyclable materials and source separated organic waste, if any, removed, and the charge for such weight or volume of such waste, broken down by waste stream, or, where the customer is being charged on a “ or “ billing rate, the estimated volume or weight of refuse, designated recyclable materials and source separated organic waste, if any, removed, and the charge for such estimated weight or volume of such waste, broken down by waste stream, along with a statement as to the method by which
    the estimated volume or weight was determined;
    It is good that an estimate of weight & volume will be included on each bill, allowing businesses to track their waste quantities. In the interests of consistency, it would be useful to define minimum standards for estimations that must be adhered to by all carters (e.g. estimated fill
    levels for wheeled bins, standard weights of sacks, etc) to give each business a more accurate report of waste quantities.

    §20-30 (c) (page 23): If an awardee is authorized to operate in more than one zone… neither the awardee nor any of the awardee’s designated carters shall operate a collection route with pick ups of commercial waste from customers in more than one zone.
    It is unclear what the reason is for not allowing collection routes to cross zone boundaries. It may facilitate collection of data on a zone-by-zone basis, but this is not explicitly mentioned in the rules. One of the major advantages of the implementation of CWZ is to reduce truck miles
    and associated carbon emissions; requiring carters to potentially drive past customers without being able to pick up their refuse or recycling has the potential to undermine this.

    §20-31 (d) (page 25): Upon request by a customer, an awardee must inform such customer of the location where such awardee transported such customer’s designated recyclable materials for recycling, reuse or sale for reuse.
    Given that each awardee holds information on the destination of each customer’s waste and recycling streams, it makes no sense to limit this information to “upon request”. Including this information as standard, with notification of any changes, empowers the customer and potentially leads to less administrative burden in processing requests for information.

    §20-33 (d) 2 (page 28): In the case of an agreement with a transfer station, [such agreement must] provide that such transfer station must report to the awardee on an annual basis the name and address of each material recovery facility or other destination where designated recyclable materials received by such transfer station are sent and the mode of transport of
    such designated recyclable materials to each such facility or destination. Such information may be provided in the aggregate for all designated recyclable materials received by such transfer station.
    This reporting requirement only provides awardees with information on one step downstream in the supply chain. In the case of the material going to brokers or another transfer facility, there will be no information on its ultimate destination. Ideally the rules would require a transparent
    supply chain where transfer stations report to awardees the destination of each waste stream up to final processing.

    The BkSWAB and MSWAB are committed to working with elected representatives and citizens towards a waste management system that effectively supports the environment and economy of New York City while enhancing the living spaces inhabited by all its residents. Thank you for your consideration.

    Brooklyn Solid Waste Advisory Board
    Members: Akhmose Ari-Hotep, Anne Bassen, Sarah Bloomquist,
    Kendall Christiansen, Suzan Frazier, Louisa Freeman, Pablo Garcia, Kevin Jaksik, Rhonda Keyser, Rose Lenoff, Celeste McMickle (Vice Chair), Dylan Oakley, Elizabeth Royzman, Shari Rueckl (Chair), Vandra Thorburn, Greg Todd, Phil Vos, Oliver Wright

    Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board
    Members: Rona Banai (Vice Chair), Margot Becker, Joyce Bialik, Diana Blackwell, Matthew Civello (Chair), Maggie Clarke, Debby Lee Cohen, Peter Cohen, Ellen M. Cooper, DeNeile Cooper, Lorial Crowder, Ann Marie Cunningham, Meredith Danberg-Ficarelli, Kimberly Davis, Lisa Denby, Wendy Frank, Katherine Hanner, Cullen Howe, Sophia Huda, Melissa Iachan, Christine Johnson, Sarah Lehrich, Kate Mikuliak, Kathy Nizzari, Alexis Obernauer, Diane Orr, Ushma Pandya, Kristi Parson, Tinia Pina, John Reali, Martin Robertson, Rich Schulman, Brendan Sexton, Marc Shifflett, Amy Uong, Aditi Varshneya, Chana Widawski

    Comment attachment
    Comment added February 9, 2021 3:53pm