Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday night announced his support for a contentious Council bill that, if passed, could fundamentally change how waste disposal is managed in the city and which is sure to draw backlash from New York City’s private carting industry.
The bill, Intro 495, has languished in the City Council for years amid harsh criticism from industry groups and other Council members. De Blasio made the announcement during a town hall meeting in Williamsburg, standing alongside Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, one of the chief proponents and authors of the bill, who is facing a spirited primary challenge come September.
De Blasio’s support marks a significant win for Reynoso as well as a host of labor and environmental groups who have been pushing for the bill.
“This council district, everyone knows it’s an unbelievable fact how unfair the history is in terms of garbage coming into this district — it’s nearly 40 percent of all the garbage in the city comes into this one council district and that is not acceptable and that has to change,” de Blasio said said to cheers from the crowd.
The bill would put a cap on how much trash could be carted into waste transfer stations in north Brooklyn, southeast Queens and the Bronx — areas that advocates say are heavily over-burdened.
“It was after a lot of deliberation and a lot of work,” the mayor said. “I am here to announce to you that the administration will support Antonio Reynoso’s bill to make that change for the community.”
The administration estimates the bill could take roughly one hundred garbage trucks off the streets of North Brooklyn per day.
The bill, sponsored by council members Reynoso and Steve Levin, was first introduced in 2014 and despite having undergone significant revisions, has been vehemently opposed by the carting industry.
De Blasio said Wednesday the city is in the midst of opening waste processing facilities in other parts of the city. The Hamilton Avenue marine transfer station is slated to open the first week of September.
“We are in the process of opening five other major facilities in other parts of the city, to create fairness to make sure that everyone takes a share of the challenge,” de Blasio said.
The bill only has 19 sponsors in the council so far, after several members of the Bronx delegation removed their support following a successful lobbying effort on the part of transfer stations in the Bronx that stand to lose significant revenue if the bill is passed.