Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso says the sanitation department is bungling its rollout of landmark reforms to how trash is collected from private businesses across the five boroughs. When he was a council member, Reynoso authored the 2019 law mandating the changes, which require the city to establish 20 “commercial waste zones” where no more than three private trash haulers can pick up garbage from stores, restaurants and other commercial enterprises.

The law was meant to keep trash collection companies from sending crews on long routes across multiple boroughs — a practice that had led to a string of fatal crashes involving garbage trucks in the years before the law was passed. After years of delays, the sanitation department plans to pilot the regulations in a single district in Queens this fall before it rolls out the initiative citywide.

Reynoso said the delays have made the city’s streets less safe, and he urged the sanitation department to consider expanding its pilot to an entire borough rather than just a single zone. “The city has missed opportunities to execute on the spirit of the legislation and undermined the program’s immediate potential,” he said. “There is a reason the legislation never envisioned a pilot. The program’s transformative nature comes from its ability to overhaul commercial waste broadly and deeply once and for all.”

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Author: Ramsey Khalifeh, Gothamist