Waste Management Companies Failing Small Businesses, Report Says

by | Oct 22, 2015

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landfillWaste and recycling companies are failing New York City’s small businesses, according to a report released today by the Transform Don’t Trash NYC coalition.

According to the report, New York City’s small businesses face unfair prices, poor service, and inadequate recycling from the city’s private sanitation industry.

The report, Not At Your Service, outlines findings from a survey of 400 small business owners in more than 20 neighborhoods. Surveyors heard a consistent message across the city: the waste management system is not working and small business owners want the city to step in with reforms.

The study found that small businesses are at a disadvantage because they do not get competitive bids or discounts for recycling, like large corporations do. Most small business owners are charged arbitrary prices rather than standard rates. Additionally, because 68 percent of business owners do not even have a contract, they are exposed to unexpected price increases and service lapses.

While the majority of residential trash and recycling in New York City are collected by the Department of Sanitation, businesses must contract with one of the city’s private sanitation companies. The industry has come under scrutiny from Transform Don’t Trash NYC in recent months over allegations of low recycling rates, poor working conditions, and environmental abuses.

The report proposes reforms that would increase recycling rates, give power to small businesses to access the professional and effective services enjoyed by large businesses, and help New York City move toward its goal of zero waste in landfills by 2030.

Photo Credit: landfill via Shutterstock

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