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Dirty, Wasteful & Unsustainable: The Urgent Need to Reform New York City’s Commercial Waste System

New York City’s sprawling commercial waste system performs significantly worse on recycling and efficiency than previously believed. Under an inefficient and ad-hoc arrangement that developed over the past several decades, hundreds of private hauling companies collect waste from restaurants, stores, offices, and other businesses nightly and truck it to dozens of transfer stations and recycling facilities concentrated in a handful of low-income communities of color. This waste is then transferred to long-haul trucks and hauled to landfills as far away as South Carolina. Previously unpublished studies and new data reveal just how chaotic this system is and make clear that fundamental reform is needed if we are to follow through on the City’s recently adopted commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050.

Climate Works for All Report

This report details a platform of 10 bold proposals for moving toward 80x50 that make our city more resilient, create nearly 40,000 good jobs each year, and cut our annual greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 12 mil¬lion metric tons of carbon equivalent. New York City must reduce its emissions by 36 million metric tons by 2050. Our plan points the way to achieving one-third of this goal. Putting 40,000 people to work would reduce our unemployment rate by 14 percent and help struggling families to be more resilient in the face of climate change and its disrupting consequences.

NYC Council Member Antonio Reynoso sitting at his desk, with the American and NYC City flags to his right.

Transform Don’t Trash NYC: Video

This powerful video features City Council Member and Sanitation Committee Chair Antonio Reynoso, small business owners, private sanitation workers and young people and advocates from environmental justice communities discussing the negative impacts that the city’s outdated waste system has on them, as well as solutions to create good jobs and clean and safe communities for all New Yorkers.

People’s Climate March — Over 400,000 strong!

  • October 1, 2014

We organized the largest march for climate action in history. With over 400,000 attendees on September 24th and millions of others united in actions around the world, the People's Climate March drew attention to the climate crisis and built a movement between environmental justice, labor and community organizations.