Testimony

The Real Estate Board of New York to The New York City Council Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management on Oversight of the City’s Advancements in Residential and Commercial Solid Waste Management Systems

Alexander Shapanka

Assistant Vice President of Policy

November 15, 2021

Between New York City’s businesses, residents, and institutions, the five boroughs produce more than 14 million tons of waste annually, which leaves the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) to face the daunting challenge of overseeing the collection and disposal of nearly 40,000 tons of trash, recycling and organic waste daily. Unfortunately, because of New York’s hyper-density and lack of alleys, the current model results in the city being continually peppered with garbage bags piled onto the sidewalks waiting for either residential curbside pickup or contracted, private carters to haul it to landfill, recycling facilities, export, or incinerators.

Over the last several years DSNY and the City Council have implemented programs in attempts to reduce the presence of semi-exposed waste in the public domain and improve the City’s waste management more broadly. The City’s recent initiatives to improve waste collection and management, include but are not limited to Local Law 152-2018 or the Waste Equity Law, the creation of Commercial Waste Zones, a pilot program for waste containerization, and residential composting. The benefits of these programs range from reduction in traffic congestion, increased worker safety, fewer trash bags on public walkways, and landfill diversion.

Improving the City’s waste management is essential to quality life and public health. REBNY supports the City’s continued commitment to bettering its services by imagining and implementing new solutions that keep our streets clean and New Yorkers safe and healthy.