FY01 Executive Budget Hearing

May 17, 2000

Statement on NYC Department of Sanitation Budget

By Resa A. Dimino

Steering Committee member, NYC Waste Prevention Coalition

The Department of Sanitation’s proposed FY01 budget for waste prevention programs is insufficient. While there is not enough detail provided in the executive budget materials to get a clear picture of exactly what the department plans, it is clear that there is no increase in the budget for waste prevention, reuse and recycling.

In fact, there is an apparent decrease of $2 million in the OTPS expenses allocated to waste prevention, reuse and recycling – from $17 million to $15 million. There is no increase in staffing levels, and only a minor increase ($200,000) in allocations for personnel services.

This is particularly disturbing at a time when the Department’s overall budget is increasing by more than 13 percent, or $130 million. The Message of the Mayor indicates: "this increase is primarily attributed to the cost of exporting waste." (p. 152).

The Department’s approach is irresponsible in light of the rising costs of waste disposal, the increasing environmental and public health impacts of the export plan, and the burden this City is imposing on communities both within and outside the city. That $130 million is "real money" that is needed to repair our schools, renovate our subways and expand social programs and the arts.

Waste prevention is the most economical, cost-effective, responsible, and environmentally sound method of addressing New York City’s waste problem. It:

After some prodding, the Department testified on May 3 that the budget for waste prevention programs, a subset of the overall waste prevention, reuse and recycling budget, totals $2.8 million. Even if that is accurate, and we have no evidence of that, investing that little – less than 1 percent of the budget proposed for export -- is insufficient to bring real economic and environmental gains to the City.

INFORM supports the New York City Waste Prevention Coalition’s proposal to allocate $12.4 million in the FY01 budget for waste prevention programs. This level of funding would put the City on the path to achieving the significant cost-savings and environmental benefits waste prevention can bring. The $12.4 million proposed by the coalition represents less than 10 percent of the increase in the DOS FY01 budget over the FY00 modified budget. It is a mere 1.2 percent of the Department’s budget overall.

It is a small price to pay for the potential gains the City could enjoy from waste prevention – fewer trucks on the road, more jobs and training opportunities, less garbage to export, less material going to waste



FY00 DOS Modified Budget
(as presented in Mayor's Executive Budget)
FY01 DOS Preliminary Budget (as presented in Committee on Environmental Protection report for budget hearings on 03/02/00) FY01 DOS Budget (as presented in Mayor's Executive Budget) FY01 DOS Budget Increase/
(Decrease) over FY00 DOS Modified Budget

(Compared to what DOS spent last year)

FY01 DOS Budget Increase/
(Decrease) Over FY01 Preliminary Budget
(Compared to what DOS asked for at 03/02/00 Budget Hearing)
Waste Disposal (PS)






Waste Disposal (OTPS)






Collection & Cleaning (PS)






Collection & Cleaning (OTPS)






Executive & Admin. (PS)






Executive & Admin. (OTPS)






Total DOS







  1. Hiring waste prevention coordinators for every community board;
  2. Providing resources to the City government to improve its purchase of waste-reducing and recycled-content goods and services;
  3. Expanding the City's backyard composting programs and organic waste prevention initiatives;
  4. Providing additional technical and economic development assistance to facilitate waste prevention and remanufacturing among NYC's business sector; and
  5. Implementing waste prevention programs in schools.

Attached are INFORM's Short-List of Cost-Effective Waste Prevention Programs for New York City. For more information, contact: Alicia Culver at 212-361-2400, ext. 234 (or e-mail culver@informinc.org) or Resa Dimino at 212-361-2400, ext 232 (dimino@informinc.org).