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Ron Bergamini CEO Testimony to DSNY on CWZ

ORAL TESTIMONY OF ACTION ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP

RONALD S. BERGAMINI, CEO

NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF SANITATION (DSNY)

PUBLIC HEARING ON THE CWZ DGEIS

MARCH 14, 2019

My name is Ron Bergamini. I am the CEO of Action Environmental Group, the parent company of Action Carting, NYC’s largest hauler of solid waste & recycling materials. We will be submitting further substantive written comments on the draft environmental impact statement.

Today I would like to comment on a single topic – the choice between single hauler (“single”) and multiple hauler zones (“multiple”).

Of the two choices, Action strongly supports the single model.  The single model produces the greatest reduction in VMT’s, safer operations, the highest potential for recycling, clearest accountability, easiest integration with other City services, and fair pricing. The alternative, a multiple model, would compromise all of these goals. This option seems no better than today’s while essentially creating 20 mini New York Cities.

Achievement of the City’s environmental and safety goals is directly correlated with a reduction in VMT’s. Maximum reduction in VMT’s can only be achieved by the single model. As the draft EIS shows, the multiple model pays a huge price in extra VMT’s, while the single is by far more efficient.

Public safety will be greater with the single model. Fewer miles driven will likely result in fewer accidents.

A single hauler will be a more efficient recycler. More efficient routes and far easier scheduling will enhance the identification, separation and collection of recyclables. For example different days could focus on different recycling streams.

The single model is most easily integrated with other City services. A single hauler allows for a one-call system that can assist the police in emergencies; manage street uses like parades, street fairs and street closings; respond to noise complaints; and adjust to traffic, construction and store deliveries.  Just one potential example – we could arrange to keep garbage trucks out of the theater district on Wednesday matinees.

The single model will have the most transparent pricing, functioning in many ways like a utility. The hauler will be selected through a very competitive process with price likely being the determining factor. Meanwhile, the certainty of an entire zone provides the single hauler with economies of scale for important investments like cleaner fleets, worker safety and training programs, and better customer service.  

The single model will enable programs and policies that only work in an “all-in” scenario, particularly with emerging innovative new ways to increase recycling diversion and better manage and centralize pickup on the street. These innovations will in turn improve neighborhood quality-of-life as well as the environment.

Action, for example, along with the leaders in the industry, has begun to use advanced systems to plan and manage routes in real time. A single hauler assigned to a single zone and using these advanced techniques will reduce the total miles driven to the absolute minimum, reduce accidents, enhance efficiency and keep prices fair

Successful franchise markets exist throughout the United States in a wide variety of urban markets. All of the successful franchise zones follow a single hauler model, are built with clearly defined service and safety standards, and are based on competitive, transparent and well-defined pricing.

The City’s RFP process offering the single model will draw local and national interest from experienced, well capitalized operators intent on offering highly competitive pricing. Everyone will be playing to win. The competition will be fierce, particularly with the priorities of service, sustainability & safety.

Action supports and advocates continued innovation in our industry. Safely collecting and disposing of waste throughout the City is a great responsibility. Those who do the hard work each and every night through all sorts of weather must be allowed to do so professionally, with fair wages and within an appropriate and supportive work environment. We are proud to be part of this discussion and remain committed to the City of New York sharing its stated goals of better service, sustainability and above all, safety.

If the City determines it is necessary to implement a zoning plan to achieve its goals of better service, sustainability and safety, then let’s do it right.  Make it single hauler system.

Thank you.


LaborPress: A Labor-Management Response To Intro.157

By Mike Hellstrom and Ronald Bergamini

Editor’s Note: This is an op-ed from Mike Hellstom, secretary treasurer, Laborers Local 108 and Ron Bergamini, CEO, Action Carting Environmental Services.

Unions have been in the news lately.  The US Supreme Court’s recent decision in Janus v. AFSCME holding that public sector employees can benefit from union representation without paying dues has garnered much commentary.  That, as well as growing concerns about income inequality, has thrust the social and political role of unions into the forefront of public debate in a way we have not seen in years.

Also in the news—and rightly so—is the issue of civility (or lack thereof) in public discourse.  Some folks in high places are acting without much civility; leading to debates about what civility entails or whether it still matters.  There seems to even be a movement to fight incivility with more of it, an irony too rich to start exploring here.

Some activists, another union, and too many elected officials prefer to play on stereotypes and some particularly bad actors to portray the whole waste industry as out control and impervious to the needs of workers, the community, and the environment…

Read the full article here!


NJ.com: Action’s 2018 Safest Driver of the Year

We had the pleasure of presenting our 2nd annual Safest Driver of the Year award to Alfred “Mike” Sandoval. Mike’s family was on hand to present him with this honor. Mike and his family won an all-expense paid trip to Disney World for being our safest driver in 2018. NJ.com was also there to capture the whole thing.

Read the full article here!


Waste360: Is Widespread Side Guard Implementation on the Horizon?

Side guards can be retrofitted onto existing trucks or designed for new trucks as well. In 2016, Action Carting, one of the New York City’s largest haulers, took advantage of the incentive program offered by the city and applied side guards on 23 trucks, explains Sal Mastriani, director of risk management at Action Carting. In 2017, the company fitted about 125 trucks with side guards.

“We decided, why wait for the deadline, which is 2024,” says Mastriani. “We felt it was necessary to implement the side guards onto all of our packers immediately. As of March 2018, 100 percent of our packer trucks were fitted with side guards.”

“We are actually hoping they move the date [2024] up a little bit,” adds Mastriani. “We are ready, and we feel that it’s very important to the industry for everyone to comply with this.”

Across the industry, the use of side guards has not become a universally accepted benefit. For some companies working in less densely populated areas, the need may not feel as urgent. For companies considering the use of side guards, some of the pushback is that the specifications are not clear or standardized. Using the wrong materials can impact the weight of a collection truck, and making the modifications to an entire fleet can prove costly.

Read the full article here!


The Action Environmental Group, Inc. Announces Acquisition of Miele Sanitation

Teaneck, NJ June 12, 2018 – The Action Environmental Group, provider of non-hazardous waste management and recycling services for New York City, Northern New Jersey, Rockland and Orange County, New York; today announced the completion of its acquisition of Miele Sanitation, a Bergen County, New Jersey-based waste management company.

With this transaction, The Action Environmental Group, through its subsidiary Interstate Waste Services (IWS), has acquired operations and assets of the Closter, NJ based company. The acquired business assets include commercial waste and recycling collection, equipment, and vehicles.

“We look for companies with a strong work ethic and commitment to its employees and customers. Miele Sanitation has been an institution in Bergen County, we are proud to continue its legacy, said IWS Chairman, Mike DiBella.

For more information on The Action Environmental Group and Interstate Waste Services visit http://interstatewaste.com. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-date information @actioncarting.


2018 NWRA Professional Development Series – New Jersey

Action is proud to host the 2018 NWRA Professional Development Series for New Jersey. Director of Risk Management, Sal Mastrian, will host the free half-day event. The goal of this event is to improve safety standards and compliance across the waste industry. The event will take place on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

Safety PDS are educational and capability building sessions, which were scheduled in regional locations to bring local industry companies together to build their capabilities in the areas of regulatory compliance, Safety Culture, use of technology, and Distracted Driving. The event topics and materials were developed in direct response to the Safety Committee, Small Hauler’s Roundtable discussions and reviews held throughout the year. These events, also, give our Supplier Members a chance to present in the area of their subject matter expertise.

In addition to our speakers, the event will also feature a roundtable identifying how NWRA can support your safety needs. NWRA will use this information to achieve its Strategic Safety Initiatives. These include removing the collection industry from the top 10 most dangerous occupations, reducing distracted driving incidents and finding collaboration opportunities to leverage safety efforts.

Tentative Educational Sessions include:

  • Safety Culture
  • Round Table Discussion
  • ANSI Z245 and You
  • Best Practices
  • Safety and Compliance Topics Employers Need to Know
  • OSHA Compliance Topics
  • DOT Compliance Topics
  • Distracted Driving
  • Safety Culture
  • Fleet Management
  • Employee Engagement

The presentations provided safety personnel, operations managers, and front line supervisors with a basic understanding of their safety, compliance, and, most importantly, their individual responsibility to the employees’ personal health and wellbeing. The topics included: OSHA and DOT compliance, Eliminating Distractions, Fleet Management Technology, and Operational Excellence Process Improvement, with a connecting theme of Safety Culture and Employee Engagement. Scalable solutions were provided to the attendees that will empower them to improve their safety management systems and strongly engage employees for solution-based results.

For more information or to sign up for this event visit the NWRA website.


We Honor Two of Our Own at the Center for Employment Opportunities Gala

Action has worked closely with the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) for many years. CEO is dedicated to providing immediate, effective and comprehensive employment services to men and women with recent criminal convictions. Their highly structured and tightly supervised programs help participants regain the skills and confidence needed for successful transitions into the working environment.

Through our partnership with CEO, we are happy to say that we have helped employees from CEO build a foundation for a stable and productive life for themselves and their families. 
I am pleased to announce that last Thursday two of our employees were honored at the annual Center for Employment Opportunities Award Gala, with their families and friends in attendance.

Luis Lopez, who is a Route Supervisor from our Bronx Casanova Depot, was awarded the “Outstanding Achievement Award.” Luis was recognized for his outstanding performance, superior dedication and positive attitude on the job throughout the past year. Luis who began working with Action through the CEO program grew from a Helper to a Route Supervisor in just two short years.

Also being honored at the gala was Marc Lopez, a Driver from our Jersey City Depot. Marc was recognized for his dedication and achievements with the “Leadership Achievement Award” in recognition of his ongoing dedication and growth. Marc has been a key member of the Action team starting out as a helper in 2011 and growing into a world-class Driver.

Thank you to both men for their dedication and for living our companies core values!


BronxTimes: Action Carting employee wins ‘second chance’ award

A carting company employee who received a second chance just was selected to take home a prestigious award.

Luis Lopez, who was recently promoted to route supervisor at Action Carting’s Hunts Point hub, will be awarded an outstanding achievement award at a Center for Employment Opportunities gala in Manhattan’s financial district on Tuesday, May 3.

Lopez, who served time in prison, got his break through a CEO program that matches prospective employees who were recently incarcerated with employers like Action Carting who are willing to provide ‘second chance’ opportunities.

Read the full article here!


The Action Environmental Group, Inc. Announces Acquisition of Mid Bronx Haulage Corp

Teaneck, NJ January 9, 2018 – The Action Environmental Group, provider of non-hazardous waste management and recycling services for New York City, Northern New Jersey, Rockland and Orange County, New York, today announced the completion of its acquisition of Mid Bronx Haulage Corp, a Bronx, NY based waste management company.

With this transaction, The Action Environmental Group, through its subsidiary, Action Carting Environmental Services, Inc., has acquired operations and certain assets of the Bronx-based company located a few blocks from Action’s Bronx depot; thus, making for an easy transition for the many area employees who will now join the Action team.

“We are pleased with the acquisition of Mid Bronx, to complement our NY City-based hauling operations, in particular, those located in Bronx. We will gain greater efficiency of our fleet and, while we do not expect the loss of any jobs, we do intend to eliminate some routes”, said Ron Bergamini, Action CEO.

For more information on The Action Environmental Group, visit www.ActionCarting.com. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-date information @actioncarting.