Fatal accidents; brutal work conditions; suspicious unions; lax oversight. Every night in New York, trucks from scores of private trash collection companies hit the city’s streets — often creating havoc and too rarely being reined in by regulators.
Daniel Brownell, appointed to lead the Business Integrity Commission by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014, endured months of embarrassing news coverage and complaints from lawmakers that his agency was too lax.
It’s unclear what the authorities were seeking at the offices of Five Star Carting, but the investment firm that owns the hauler said it has been cooperating for months with a joint federal and city inquiry.
One bill authorizes an oversight agency to directly police the labor unions at companies across the city. Another would require the agency to refer labor and wage violation cases to law enforcement. The mayor is expected to sign them.
The former workers at the private trash hauler, which surrendered its license in November, said they and others were owed money from both their last weeks on the job in 2018 and for working off the books for years at a rate of $80 per night.
The legislation would allow the agency to bar union officials from representing workers in the industry if they are found to be lacking “good character, honesty and integrity.”
A push against a zoning proposal involved a trade group helmed by a man convicted in a bid-rigging scheme; $500,000 to a lobbying firm that drafted legislation; and a lawmaker who was recently in business with one of the major haulers.
The mayor has touted pedestrian safety as a core aim of his mayoralty, and the crash comes as his administration is pushing a major reform that it says will improve the safety records of the army of private commercial garbage trucks that crisscross the city’s streets.
In a letter sent to New York City regulators, lawyers for the company said it would cease operations “forthwith.”
One of the biggest unions in New York’s private garbage industry is run by a man with a long record of run-ins with the authorities, and its vice president is a convicted felon. Many workers say it’s a union in name only.
As New York City’s oversight agency moves to have companies regularly report accidents, traffic violations and license suspensions involving their drivers, the haulers push back.
Unregistered employees. Dangerously long driving schedules. Sanitation Salvage’s bid last week to have its suspension lifted produced more damning findings and fresh questions about why it took regulators so long to act.
A ProPublica review found that the agency that oversees New York City’s commercial trash industry may have overlooked another potential impropriety involving Sanitation Salvage.
The Business Integrity Commission suspended the license of one of New York’s biggest garbage haulers after it was involved in two fatal accidents and a spate of collisions.
This time, an unlicensed employee was behind the wheel of a Sanitation Salvage truck when it smashed head-on into a sedan on a Bronx street.
A ProPublica inquiry sparked by the death of a motorist in Brooklyn shows the trash company involved is headquartered on land owned by someone banned from the industry years ago.
A Truck’s Flying Wheel Kills a Motorist, and the Sanitation Industry’s Safety Record Is Again an Issue
The company whose truck was involved in the fatal accident in Brooklyn has repeatedly been cited for safety violations.
Inside New York’s private garbage industry there’s fatal accidents; brutal work conditions; suspicious unions and lax oversight.
Fatal accidents, off-the-books workers, a union once run by a mobster. The rogue world of one of New York’s major trash haulers.
A death. A cover-up. An immigrant meets a terrible end in the Bronx.
Waste removal is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. On the darkened streets of New York City, it’s a race for survival.