Ron Bergamini CEO Testimony to DSNY on CWZ





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.