The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for private carting companies interested in participating in the City’s groundbreaking Commercial Waste Zones program. Commercial Waste Zones will create a safe and efficient system to collect waste from NYC businesses and provide high-quality, low-cost service while advancing the City’s zero waste goals. The program is authorized by Local Law 199, which Mayor de Blasio signed in November 2019.
This RFP is the latest step toward implementation of this landmark program. In February, DSNY published a final rule designating 20 zones for commercial waste collection. Through the RFP process, DSNY will select up to three carters to provide service to customers within each zone, as well as up to five carters to provide containerized collection service citywide. This will bring clarity and stability to an industry that impacts nearly every street in the city, while keeping the competition necessary for low prices.
“The Commercial Waste Zones program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring real, comprehensive and meaningful reform to the private carting industry. Today marks the next step toward achieving that reform,” said Department of Sanitation’s Acting Commissioner Edward Grayson. “This approach acknowledges the very real challenges facing the private carting industry, while advancing this much-needed initiative that will bring safer streets, cleaner air, and a modern private carting industry built to better serve NYC businesses.”
“The City’s Commercial Waste Zones program will fundamentally change the way the commercial waste hauling industry operates here,” said Noah D. Genel, Commissioner and Chair of the Business Integrity Commission. “Importantly, it will lead to far fewer truck miles traveled in New York City. That means safer streets for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike, along with cleaner air for everyone in the City. BIC looks forward to continuing to work with DSNY and the private waste haulers on this significant new program.”
“Today’s request for proposal release marks the latest step towards reforming the private waste industry,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “A commercial waste zones system will bring safer streets, cleaner air, and better workplace protections for workers at a time when they need them the most. I thank the Department of Sanitation and all of the advocates for their partnership in this Herculean effort to improve the industry.”
The Department’s approach to the RFP recognizes and reflects the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic for the commercial waste industry and the tens of thousands of businesses small and large that rely on this industry for safe, reliable, and sustainable waste collection service.
The COVID-19 crisis has upended life in New York City and disrupted many sectors of our city’s economy. With the implementation of public health restrictions in March, many private carters saw waste volumes and revenues decrease by 70 percent or more. At that time, DSNY, in consultation with the Business Integrity Commission and other stakeholders, paused the rollout of the Commercial Waste Zones program. While conditions in the private carting industry are still far from normal, the industry has begun to stabilize as the City has made progress on reopening commercial businesses and restarting commercial activity.
Local Law 199 requires the Department of Sanitation to release an RFP for the program no later than one year after its enactment on November 20, 2019. The Commercial Waste Zones RFP will be issued in two parts, giving potential program awardees sufficient time to prepare, plan and respond, and allowing for the economic condition of the industry to further stabilize and improve.
Part I of the RFP requests information from potential program awardees about their qualifications to provide commercial waste collections services, including licensing status with the Business Integrity Commission, financial statements and compliance history. Responses to Part I are due February 19, 2021.
Following the receipt of Part I responses, the Department will issue Part II of the RFP, which will request more robust information about potential program awardees, including plans to achieve the programmatic goals of Commercial Waste Zones, such as plans for safety, customer service, sustainable waste management, infrastructure investment, and zero waste. Potential awardees must respond to Part I of the RFP to be eligible to submit a response to Part II and be considered for a contract award.
The Commercial Waste Zones program is the result of more than five years of intensive analysis, stakeholder engagement, and planning at the Department of Sanitation. DSNY plans to follow the RFP process with a multi-year customer transition process that includes extensive outreach and education for businesses.
The RFP and related documents can be downloaded at nyc.gov/commercialwaste.