NYC Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association Testifies in Opposition to Intro 495 at City Hall Hearing Along with Local Leaders

Feb 13, 2015 4:05 PM ET
Campaign: NW&RA Chapter News
National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) New York City Chapter

NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2015 /3BL Media/ — The New York City Council’s Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management held a hearing today on Intro 495, a bill that proposes to reduce waste transfer station capacity in select neighborhoods in the City. Tom Toscano, president of the New York Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) and Chief Financial Officer for Mr. T Carting Corp, and David Biderman General Counsel and Vice President for Government Affairs at NW&RA, along with additional leaders of local organizations, testified in opposition of the bill, citing job loss, increased traffic, and higher costs for local New York City businesses. Council Members Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso introduced the bill last October.

“If Intro 495 becomes law, garbage trucks will have to travel further to the transfer stations in northern Queens, western Brooklyn, and Staten Island,” said Tom Toscano. “These trucks will then have to travel back to their yards, most of which are located in northern Brooklyn and western Queens. This will actually increase truck traffic.”

Testimony against Intro 495 came from the following local leaders:

  • Tom Toscano, President, New York Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association and Chief Financial Officer for Mr. T Carting Corp;
  • David Biderman, General Counsel and Vice President for Government Affairs at the National Waste & Recycling Association;
  • James W. Versocki, Counsel for Greater NYC Chapter, New York State Restaurant Association;
  • Mike Hellstrom, Business Manager and Secretary Treasurer, Laborers Union Local 108 Greater New York Metropolitan Area;
  • Ron Bergamini, President of Action Environmental, New York City’s largest private carting company;
  • Andy Moss, Regional Government Affairs Manager, Progressive Waste Solutions/IESI;
  • Laura Imperiale, Director of Government Affairs for Tully Environmental
  • Jerry Antonacci, President, Crown Container;
  • David Hillcoat, Cooper Tank; and
  • Several waste employees who are concerned they will lose their jobs if this bill is enacted.

“Intro 495 is a job killer and must be stopped in its tracks,” said Mike Hellstrom. “Employment as a transfer station worker is not portable and if one worker were to become unemployed as a result of Intro 495, then city government and its elected officials who call themselves progressives have acted 100% regressive.”  

“While it seems that this bill has good intentions, it amplifies the problem it seeks to solve,” said Chris Hickey, Regional Director NYC of the New York State Restaurant Association. “This law simply moves garbage from one place to another which will only exacerbate the problem and cause the loss of jobs in the process.”

Many workers for and supporters of the carting industry attending today’s hearing, wearing bright orange shirts reading “Don’t Trash Good Jobs” and chanting “jobs matter” in unison.

Nearly 100 people participated in a rally on the steps of City Hall in New York City in opposition to Intro 495 on January 22, including Council Members Benjamin Kallos and Mark Treyger who spoke out strongly against the bill. The rally included dozens of representatives each from Laborers Local Union 108, United Service Workers Union Local 339, and the International Union of Journeyman & Allied Trades Local 726, NW&RA members, and business groups, including the New York City Restaurant Association.

Prior to the hearing, Toscano and Hellstrom co-authored an op-ed requesting to work with the City Council and de Blasio administration in order to implement effective measures that will reduce trash-truck traffic while maintaining the critical infrastructure needed to maintain the industry locally.

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The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) is the trade association that represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that collect and manage garbage, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors and a variety of other service providers. NW&RA’s New York City Chapter is comprised of more than 90 companies, with the majority of the local industry’s employees and trucks. For more information about NW&RA and its NYC Chapter, visit