I started in the workforce around with delivering the local Times Herald Record, mowing lawns and other related yard work and odd jobs. I also worked as a laborer at a local Goshen, NY.
A commercial trash worker in New York City can pick up as much as 30 tons of garbage per night, over the course of a shift that can last as long 16 hours. More than private carting companies collect 12, tons of trash fromcustomers across the city each night.
Dozens of small companies end up competing for that bottom slice of the market.
Unions and reformers claim that the cut-throat competition between carters creates incentives for companies to cut corners and exploit their workers.
Some companies reportedly push their drivers to make hundreds of stops a night. The differences between commercial hauling companies can be stark: Seven people—including one worker—were killed by private sanitation trucks in The commercial carting business, even on its best days, seems rougher around the edges than the residential trash collection run by the the DSNY.
The DSNY workers are represented by the Teamsters, work no more than eight hours a day, and are eligible for excellent benefits and pensions. Federal and state laws prohibit trash truck drivers from driving more than 11 hours and limit the length of a shift to 14 hours.
The majority are also working six days a week, he said. Struggling with fatigue and the pressure to finish long routes, drivers sometimes blow through red lights, run over pedestrians or collide with other cars. When he started in the commercial carting industry inHenry said that he worked eight- to hour shifts, rather than 12 or 16 hours.
I got off the truck in my 30th year because I would have needed a hip replacement and my knees were bad. The worker has been with Action for several years. He told Commercial Observer that most Action drivers regularly worked to hour shifts and made anywhere from to 1, stops a night on their routes.
Each night around 3 a. Recently, while opening up the steel doors to a waste transfer station, he was trying to loosen the ratchet on the door and then the hook that keeps it in place slammed down on his fingers, breaking one of them.
When Action bought his previous employer, Waste Management, several years ago, they cut benefits, salaries, pensions and severance, he said. Action also has contracts with city hospitals and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, both of which expose trash workers to particularly risky waste.
With the MTA garbage, sometimes we find drugs, and we find toxic stuff people throw in the garbage. I strongly believe we deserve higher pay. Drivers with the private carting companies have killed 43 New Yorkers sinceaccording to data from the New York City Department of Transportation.
In just the past year, at least three people, including one worker, have died at the hands of commercial trash truck drivers in New York City. Then, last November, a driver with Sanitation Salvage fatally hit a then-unnamed man who had reportedly jumped on the back of the truck and then fallen off in the Norwood section of the Bronx, police told the Daily News.
His identity only emerged after Sean Spence, the driver who killed him, ran over and killed someone else—year-old pedestrian Leon Clark on the street in the Morrisania section of the Bronx in April. For more than 30 years, the cornerstone of the company has been its commitment to safety and being a good neighbor.
And even after it learned the truth, it allowed the driver to continue working, according to ProPublica. We are currently developing legislation that would allow BIC to promulgate safety rules.
Once BIC has this authority, we will have a much wider range of tools available to compel safer conditions in this industry. The lack of oversight has helped engender a nocturnal Wild West landscape where companies compete to service the most customers as fast as possible, sometimes at the expense of their workers.
The enforcement agency was created in with the mission of eliminating organized crime from the commercial trash business, and it has been successful on that front. It has also been pushing commercial carting companies to upgrade their outdated diesel trucks for cleaner, newer vehicles that burn natural gas and come outfitted with lights, reflectors and cameras.
However, the BIC falls short of regulating worker safety. That responsibility lies with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has a limited number of inspectors to monitor a broad array of industries—including construction, agriculture and healthcare—across the state.
A coalition of progressive groups and the Teamsters argue that the significant regulatory holes could be patched if the city created an exclusive zone system, where one garbage hauler would be assigned to each neighborhood.
They posit that there would be environmental benefits: And shorter routes would create fewer incentives for companies to abuse their workers. Reform-minded groups also see the zone system as a mechanism to kick out bad actors among the carters.
Each hauler would get a valuable, long-term franchise contract for their zone, and the city would set the terms of the agreements, giving it leverage to impose reforms on the hauling companies, argue zone system advocates.
New York City commercial trash trucks travel more than 23 million miles annually as they collect waste and recyclables from customers and then shuttle it to waste transfer stations in the outer boroughs, a DSNY study found.
The environmental benefits would also be substantial: With fewer trucks on the road, greenhouse gas emissions from the private carting industry would drop 42 to 64 percent and diesel fuel consumption would be reduced by 3. The commercial haulers, on the other hand, fiercely oppose any measure that would eliminate companies from the market.georgeclerk / Getty Images There's always a demand for hauling services for trash, garden waste, or other discarded household or business items, and if you are strong, healthy and enjoy driving, hauling could be a great retirement business opportunity for you.
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