Tuesday’s Headlines: Just Garbage Edition

File photo: NY1
File photo: NY1

We were reading Waste Dive yesterday (you don’t read Waste Dive? Oh, you must, you must) and we learned something important: the city’s life-saving reform of the private carting industry — which we hyped to the heavens when it passed last year — will be delayed.

In an exit interview with the trash publication (we say that with love!), Sanitation Commissioner (and possible mayoral candidate) Kathryn Garcia blamed COVID for the delay of the program to reduce the size of private carting zones, and reduce the number of companies operating within them — a strategy to end the breakneck competition that has private carting drivers racing around like madmen:

We were still trying to stay on track for November, but the challenge we’re having is the industry is in such bad shape at the moment because they saw their volume of waste fall 70-90 percent, depending on the private carter. Being able to price out what these districts or zones will look like is very hard at the moment until we end up in sort of a more new normal. And so we’ve been working with all of the advocates and the industry to make sure that everyone’s on the same page about the timing.

(Working with all the advocates? First we’re hearing of it, but we digress).

In any event, that’s the big scoop from Waste Dive.

In other news:

  • There was more coverage of the coming $50 fines issues by cops to riders not wearing a mask on city transit. The Daily News played it straight; the Post focused on the officers’ lax enforcement on Day 1; amNY mentioned that MTA CEO Pat Foye handed out masks himself … for hours; Streetsblog focused on how ridiculous it is to expect cops to handle this in an equitable, fair manner, given their inequitable behavior and their own aversion to wearing masks; and Gothamist combined all of the above.
  • Mayor de Blasio’s much-hyped, but then fiscally starved, placard crackdown has apparently nabbed just two scofflaws (and not even city officials, but placard perps from other, unnamed, agencies). (NY Post)
  • Alan Feuer’s deep dive into the right-wing politics (and leadership) of the main police unions was the day’s must-read. But the graphics told the whole story: 88 percent of union leadership is white and the majority of union leaders live out in the suburbs and are registered Republicans — all stats that are very out of step with their officers and their city. (NY Times)
  • Some of us in the Streetsblog newsroom got all upset when the MTA sent over a press release that it would create more space in the evening rush hour for cars in the Hugh Carey (“We’re Still Calling It ‘Brooklyn-Battery'”) Tunnel, but cooler heads prevailed: the additional space will be of far greater use to long-suffering transit riders. Close to 30 bus routes go through the Hugh every afternoon!
  • No offense to Daniel Boulud, but is there anyone who really cares right now where the master chef is opening his next restaurant or what it’s going to be named? (NY Times)
  • The DOT is finally installing a temporary protected bike lane on Northern Boulevard this week (just in time for our old man editor’s doctor’s appointment on the Upper East Side tomorrow). (DOT via Twitter)
  • More credit where due: The DOT has finished the protected bike lane on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, as Streetsfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson shows here:

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Private Trash Haulers Pollute Low-Income NYC Neighborhoods of Color

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With the city preparing reforms for the commercial waste carting industry, the Transform Don’t Trash NYC Coalition of labor and environmental justice groups released a report today calling attention to how private trash trucks disproportionately harm air quality in a few specific low-income communities of color [PDF]. The report, “Clearing the Air,” shows the high concentration of asthma-inducing pollutants at truck-heavy areas in the South Bronx […]