Addressing Collection System Efficiencies & Economics
By Barbara Warren, Consumers Union
KEY Points concerning Collection:
First, because of productivity improvements – truck shift reductions were a direct result of recycling.
Second, because of the use of 2 –bin trucks, which will soon be in 22 out of 59 districts, the overall EXISTING savings of the 2 bin program is approx. 11 million dollars. This estimate does not include the reported savings from the co-collection at schools of trash and recyclables in 2 bin trucks. In this case the 2-bin trucks have enabled more service at the same cost. Expansion of 2-bin trucks beyond the 22 districts should receive a fair trial with a pilot project.
Third, substitute containerized collections for curbside recycling collection until the same percentage level is achieved as for waste containerized collections (at the minimum).
Finally, we recommend Expansion of the Truck Shift Reduction program to achieve even greater efficiency by Substituting Recycling & Green Waste Collections for Garbage collections.
Aim for 10% reduction in garbage truckshifts through substitution. ( With 4900 truckshifts we would aim to reduce 490 truckshifts. Note however, that DOS has not recently supplied truckshift numbers). Eliminate all third garbage collections in one week. In districts with twice a week collection – eliminate second garbage collection and provide instead a green organic waste collection. Distribution of Locking Bins, appropriately sized for different residences and buildings is essential to this program, particularly to realize the ancillary benefits of pest control. Since we are substituting a truckshift to pick up organic waste, greater than a 10% truckshift reduction is not likely to be possible.
Trash Collection at $360 million per year could drop by $36 million with a 10% reduction in truckshifts. All Manhattan districts are on 3 times a week trash collection, 7 of 12 in the Bronx and 4 districts in Brooklyn. (23 out of 59 districts-13% reduction in truckshifts. Since this may not be possible we assumed a 10% reduction in truckshifts if the 3rd collection was eliminated.) Locking green bins for yard and food waste should be purchased at approx. $10 million for 500,000 bins under the capital budget. Green waste collections should begin in those communities generating large amounts of yard waste—a minimum of 1/3 of the City. At the same time a pilot in 2 other denser areas of the City where rats are plaguing residents would iron out difficulties before full scale implementation of the program Citywide.
1) A pilot project to evaluate expansion of 2-bin trucks beyond the 22 districts
2) Substitute containerized collections for curbside recycling collection until the same percentage level is achieved as for waste containerized collections (at the minimum). Waste has approx. 10% while recycling has approx. 0.4% containerized. Institutions should especially be targeted..
3) Major Expansion of the Truck Shift Reduction program to achieve even greater efficiency by eliminating 3rd collections in a week and substituting Recycling & Green Waste Collections for Garbage collections. The elimination of collections should achieve a saving of $36 million.