City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James have both declared their support for a controversial plan to establish commercial waste zones, or franchises, for the city's private waste industry.
The plan, first proposed last year by the de Blasio administration, would separate the city into sectors for which waste hauling companies could bid for exclusive pick-up rights. The Teamsters and environmental advocacy groups have been fighting hard for the proposal, as it could significantly reduce vehicle emissions, boost recycling and improve worker safety.
The waste industry, however, is vehemently opposed to the plan, saying it will put some private carters out of business, kill jobs and reduce competition for the city's businesses, most of which are required to contract with a private hauler.
While Stringer's and James' support for the plan was not crucial for its execution, it represents a political victory for supporters as now all three citywide elected officials support the waste zones.
“Commercial sanitation has a lot of problems, from environmental injustice to unsafe, low-pay jobs,” Stringer said in a statement. “A strong, well-planned franchise system will ensure good jobs for workers and a safer environment for all New Yorkers.”
James said the plan could also alleviate dumping in transfer stations in over-burdened communities.
"Many communities across the City shoulder more than their fair share of the trash burden in New York City,” James said in a statement. “With the high rates of pollution associated with diesel pollution, now is the time to act. The City's commercial waste zone policy is the right path forward for addressing the many problems caused by the private sanitation industry."
Some labor groups are opposed to the plan. Laborers Local 108 has been a vocal critic of the proposal, saying it will cut jobs for workers currently employed in the industry.
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