Members of the Bronx Merchants Coalition, which includes the Morris Park Alliance, Throggs Neck Merchants, Westchester Square Merchants, Pelham Bay Merchants, Castle Hill Business District and Zerega Industrial area recently participated in a conference call with the Business Integrity Committee for the City of New York.
The teleconference was relating to raising the price ceiling waste haulers can charge their customers for their trash. This group was responsible under the Guiliani Administration for dismantling and eliminating corruption in the waste haulage industry in New York City. Koodoo’s to them. Generations of administration within City Government have been heralded as guiding lights for consumers and businesses. That is until Mayor Bloomberg.
The Mayor moved fines and penalties from the ‘miscellaneous income’ column in the city budget over to a line item budgeted goal. City government now replaces la Cosa Nostra and the City Council allows him to do it. Agencies now have financial targets and goals they must meet or these Commissioner’s heads get lopped off.
The guise presented by this Committee was that the City would consider allowing waste haulers to raise their prices so they could branch out to other types of collection services such as perishable food substances, organic matter, separate glass and plastic sorting etc.. According to Jayant Kairam, Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Planning and Operations own words: ‘it would give a more diverse product of services from the waste haulers to achieve the City’s goals of a greener environment.’
The buzz words ‘greener environment’ is an ever endearing concept that many of us would grasp with both hands. However, within the wording of his statement ‘to achieve the City’s goals’ lies the danger.
The Business Integrity Committee finds themselves boxed in to a corner having to adhere to it’s own administrative laws. They can’t change the description of ‘the collection of trash’ as prescribed by the Guiliani Administration and they are held accountable to that description. However, if the ‘price ceiling’ were to change, then they can change the wording of the entire piece of legislation to what ever the city feels is necessary for today.
Now don’t run outside and hug your evergreen until you hear the implications.
Under the current regulations waste haulers are required to sort recyclables ‘post collection’. This means that a business can co-mingle blue bags of metal and plastic in the same dumpster with clear bags of paper along with black bags of non-recyclables. Just like you do at curbside. When the hauler empties the truck, it’s his responsibility to separate out the 3 different types of trash. The whole business community has found that this system works, including the haulers.
The new proposal would mandate a new service level the haulers don’t even want. Worse, it would require all businesses, particularly food service entities and flower
shops to store their compo-stable materials in a separate container for a separate pick up, meaning more men, more trucks, more cost. For the community, imagine the odor, rodents and maggots this will produce during July and August. Think about all the deli’s, doughnut stores, coffee shops, bakery’s and restaurants in Morris Park subject to a separate storage process. It’s just another rouse by the Mayor’s Office to collect revenue from violations. He’s replaced the mafia’s strong arm tactics of the 50's with government bureaucracy that’s killing off small businesses.
This new service will create a feeding frenzy for both the Department of Health and City Sanitation. The fines will be in the thousands. Every agency and acronym of city government is now their own powerhouse of enforcement (in the name of public safety of course) and the Business Integrity Committee isn’t producing. When this survey comes don’t just send it to your spam file. You better fight it and fight it hard.