Yesterday, news broke that Mayor de Blasio's administration will pursue the model of waste collection groups like PWF affiliate, ALIGN, and its Transform, Don't Transh NYC coalition have been fighting for for the last two years. Below is a statement on the recent victory from Partnership for Working Families Executive Director Nikki Fortunato Bas:
The debate on how to pick up and manage urban trash and recycling is over. The two biggest cities in our nation agree; a new, smarter system delivers for us all. Working people and communities have been heard. Implementing this system will mean better wages and safer jobs for those who collect our waste, healthier air for our residents, far less waste contributing to climate change and less traffic in our neighborhoods. The momentum to fix our broken waste management system is spreading across the country and our most innovative cities are leading that charge.
In 2011 Partnership for Working Families (PWF) launched the national Transforming Trash campaign. In most cities a completely unmanaged system has created an inefficient approach to waste collection, resulting in dangerous work conditions, low wages, creation of excessive traffic and emissions and low rates of recycling. Picking up, transporting and sorting waste is among the most dangerous jobs in our country. The Transforming Trash effort was created to seed and support local efforts to tackle these prevalent issues in the waste industry in cities across the country. As part of the campaign, in 2012 waste workers in Los Angeles helped lead the fight to reform the private sanitation system through the Don’t Waste LA coalition, anchored by PWF affiliate, LAANE. They won an innovative policy designed to increase recycling and job quality, while decreasing emissions and traffic. Then in 2014 the Transform, Don’t Trash NYC coalition, anchored by PWF affiliate ALIGN, launched. Transform Don't Trash NYC brought together environmental justice advocates with decades of experience fixing discriminatory waste facility siting and worker advocates who were working to make waste jobs good jobs. Today, the coalition celebrates the city's adoption of the core tenants of the policy for which they fought. Learn more about the national campaign to transform our broken waste system here.