DSNY FAILS

BUILDING SUPERS & PORTERS

By Dominick Romeo

 

April 1st marked the one year since the regulation was enacted by Mayor Adams requiring Building Superintendents and Porters to toss their trash out past 8 PM.  If the garbage is placed in containers, it can be put out at 6 pm. The main reason it is not feasible to use containers is because the number needed to hold the trash far out measures the space required to store them.  Buildings will be fined if the lids to the containers are left open, which means only one bag fits in each receptacle.

 

For a building the size of mine, I would need 50-plus containers to comply with this regulation on a night when trash and recycling (glass/metal, and cardboard/paper) are disposed of.  My building is approximately 100 feet wide end-to-end.  Doing the math, that means if each container were placed side-by-side leaving enough room for people to walk by, I would have to go beyond my building’s property line and onto my neighbor’s property. 

 

On October 24th, 2023, after months of pressuring City Council to take up this issue, I was invited by Council Members Sandy Nurse and Eric Bottcher to testify at a meeting of the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste.  Each person was given as much time as needed to tell their story, but I was only given two minutes.  Only after I protested this, was I given an extra 30 seconds. 

 

Among the stories shared at this meeting by those who testified were examples of mistreatment by third-party hauling companies and colleague deaths due to lack of regulations.  In attendance (and also testifying) were the top brass of the Department of Sanitation minus Commissioner Jessica Tisch.  When Council Member Botcher asked the leadership of DSNY if they would sit down with our group, NYCBuildingSuperS.com to “talk all of this through”, their Deputy of Public Affairs Commissioner responded, “Let’s be in touch about it”. This was a big middle finger to Supers and Porters and the disappointment on Council Member Bottcher’s face was clearly visible. We have not heard from DSNY or City Council ever since but remain hopeful. 

 

Our work hours are from 8 AM to 5 PM for many reasons.  At 8 AM we clean our sidewalks to avoid sanitation fines followed by maintenance and repairs as well as emergencies and other surprises.  These responsibilities must be performed during business hours while local hardware stores are open.  We also need to be in the building for plumbers, electricians, and other maintenance personnel, who work those same hours.

 

Unlike buildings in Union 32BJ, most dwellings in New York City do not have room in their budgets to hire an evening porter to throw out trash.  32BJ buildings tend to have more than just 1 Porter working alongside the Superintendent.  Some buildings even have 2 shifts so they can cover this 8 PM take-out time, but most buildings in New York City do not have this luxury.

 

 

Please ask your Building Superintendents and Porters to Join our fight.  

Go to

NYCBuildingSuperS.com

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