The New York City Department of Sanitation (“DSNY” or “Department”) is in the process of establishing new Commercial Waste Zones throughout the City in order to address the increase of truck traffic, harmful environmental impacts, and insufficient attention to public safety from carters collecting commercial waste. The Plan was released in November 2018 after years of public outreach and many of the proposed safety rules will take effect January 2026.

The Plan called out the problems of the current system which has resulted in an excess of different private waste collection trucks operating simultaneously in the same neighborhoods resulting in “millions of excess truck mules driven every year that harm the City’s air quality, increase greenhouse gas emissions, create noise pollution and negatively impact public health.”

As a result, the Plan’s establishment of commercial waste zones will create a safer and more efficient waste collection system in order to contribute to meeting the City’s zero waste and sustainability goals. The zones will ultimately reduce commercial waste truck traffic by more than 50%.

Commercial Waste Zones

The DSNY will create a total of 20 commercial waste zones. The Department will use a system of Request for Proposals (RFPs) in order to select up to three private carters to service each commercial waste zone. This system will also select up to five carters to provide containerized commercial waste collection services throughout the City.

New Truck Safety Requirements

If you have a fleet of trucks that will collect and haul commercial waste, recyclables, and source-separate organic waste in the new Waste Zones under a DSNY contract, these rules will impose a variety of requirements in order to improve street safety for all pedestrians including but not limited to:

  • All commercial waste vehicles must be equipped with back-up cameras;
  • All commercial waste vehicles will require auxiliary lighting in the rear of the vehicle;
  • All commercial waste vehicles must be equipped with a telematics system allowing real-time transmission to DSNY of the truck’s location and routing information;
  • A transition must be made to cab-over truck design vehicles.

If you need help determining whether these new commercial waste zones apply to your carting business or whether you need help preparing a Request for Proposal to apply for a zone, please call Walden Environmental Engineering at 516-588-6859. Walden’s team of solid waste engineers are experienced in DSNY regulations and keep up-to-date with the latest revisions to ensure our clients remain in compliance.