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On Wednesday afternoon, the City Council passed Intro 1574-A, establishing a new system of waste collection zones, by a vote of 34 to 14. The bill, which represents years of activism, study and wrangling, aims to create a safer, more labor-friendly and environmentally sustainable industry, in which trucks travel shorter routes and recycling rates improve under a franchised system overseen by the Department of Sanitation.

...Progressive activists were also celebrating on Wednesday. Transformation of the commercial waste industry had seemed like a long shot at best when they began formulating waste zone plans six years ago.

“This legislation is so comprehensive,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director of ALIGN, an environmental-justice group. She listed “safe streets, worker protections, climate change and income inequality” among the issues it would be addressing.


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