NYCHA looking to modernize garbage, recycling disposal at NYC public housing developments

STATEN ISLAND, NY — The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is looking to modernize the garbage and recycling systems, while increasing efficiency, at its developments.

The agency issued a Request for Information (RFI) on Monday, seeking proposals from waste haulers and containerized collection equipment manufacturers to develop a pilot program for utilizing hoist-lifted trash collection in public housing developments.

The technology would consist of above-ground or submerged containers that would be picked up by specialized garbage trucks with mechanized hoist lifts.

This system would minimize the number of garbage and recycling bags on the curb and enable residents and staff to conveniently dispose trash and recyclables.

“Ensuring that our buildings and grounds are clean and pest-free is a key focus of the Authority,” Greg Russ, chair and CEO of NYCHA, said in the announcement.

“We want to source innovative ideas from industry leaders to re-envision our approach to waste management, and are excited at the prospect of bringing this cutting-edge technology to New York City,” Russ continued.

According to NYCHA, its buildings were originally built to incinerate trash on-site, without any storage space for garbage or recycling. The incinerators were closed in the 1970s, but storage space wasn’t added, leaving NYCHA residents and staff to manually move trash and recyclables to the curb for the city Sanitation Department to pick up weekly.

One-third of all NYCHA developments use trash bags to put garbage out for pickup, and all of them leave recyclables in bags. NYCHA properties’ current waste disposal methods can be an eye sore, attracting pests and obstructing sidewalk space.

“Most NYCHA buildings were not designed for the modern waste stream, and while NYC Sanitation Workers are proud to support the dedicated NYCHA staff in keeping their buildings clean, new solutions may go a long way toward making this work faster and more efficient,” DSNY Commissioner Edward Grayson said.

In May 2021, the Department of Housing and Urban Development approved NYCHA’s City Capital Action Plan, which includes $563.5 million to be allocated toward waste management. The funds would support replacing outdated interior compactors and redesigning waste yards, prioritizing efficiency at approximately 324 sites with 197 developments, according to a press release.

The mechanical waste technology could be implemented at 75 NYCHA sites that lack space for a waste yard, accounting for 26% of the agency’s portfolio.

“This RFI is a key step in investigating that possibility, and DSNY is standing by to support the Housing Authority and its residents any way we can in this important pilot,” Grayson said.

RESPONDING TO THE RFI

Interested participants can respond to one or both categories: (1) the containers and related equipment to collect waste streams at NYCHA sites or (2) the hauling services that could practically and efficiently pick up refuse material.

Interested responders will answer NYCHA’s questions and include descriptions of existing products, timelines for pilot implementation, optimal pilot scopes, prototype and pilot costs, key challenges and additional considerations, and case studies where appropriate.

There will be a virtual RFI informational session on March 14 at 11 am Questions related to the RFI must be submitted in writing and emailed before 3 pm on March 18 to [email protected]

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