Sections

Making cents of it all: Records show multi-million dollar deals between city and garbage company

Spotted: An Action Carting dumpster sits outside the metal frame of a future Wegmans supermarket in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Talk about dirty money.

The city hands over millions of dollars each year to the private carting company with an alleged culture of malfeasance whose unlicensed trucker got a slap on the wrist after he fatally collided with a cyclist in Greenpoint last year.

Local taxpayers, including those with kin hurt or killed by Action Carting’s drivers, paid a total of $104,286,930 via city contracts awarded to the firm since 2007, records show.

Multiple agencies, including the Departments of Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Environmental Protection, Homeless Services, and Education, have each doled out gobs of money to the New Jersey–based firm so its truckers — some of whom said they are so overworked that they nod off at the wheel — can haul away their trash.

The Environmental Protection Department alone paid Action Carting a whopping $47,179,460 to collect its garbage from 2016 through the middle of next year, after shelling out $35,445,150 to the company for trash pickup from 2014 through 2017, according to the records.

The city awarded several of its contracts with the firm — whose drivers have killed five people, including 27-year-old cyclist Neftaly Ramirez, in the last decade — through a bidding process after officials likely issued requests for proposals, and renewed other agreements when they lapsed, the records show.

But the public documents also indicate that multiple agencies, including the Police Department, issued violations to Action Carting’s bosses — who coach its drivers on how to run red lights, according to a former employee. A police spokesman, however, refused to provide specific details on the infractions or the penalties each resulted in, suggesting this newspaper file a Freedom of Information Law request to obtain the information.

Mayor DeBlasio has personally signed off on $39,788,111 in payments to the carting company since he took office in 2014, the same year he launched Vision Zero — his initiative to reduce and ultimately eliminate traffic-related deaths on city streets.

A rep for Hizzoner declined to comment on whether he would consider severing ties with the company, and why he continues to put millions of taxpayer dollars toward business with Action Carting in light of the deaths its drivers caused and the municipal records that show the company violated city code.

And the city isn’t the trash-hauler’s only source of revenue — the company picks up garbage from private companies such as restaurants and retailers across the five boroughs, including businesses within the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Fort Greene and Downtown’s MetroTech Center, where the firm’s dumpsters have been spotted.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:47 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
Obviously, the city is going to do business with many outside firms. But is it too much to ask that the procurement process includes a nullification if the company in question has violated the law or caused specific damage to the community?

I think this otherwise excellent reporter needs to go back to the mayor’s office and ask, “What will you do to change the procurement process so that corrupt or irresponsible companies do not win massive city contracts simply because they are the lowest bidder?”
March 16, 8:38 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Cities will do business with outside firms, but trash collection is a service that the city can and already does provide itself. Don't renew these contracts, lay off cops, and hire more DSNY workers.
March 16, 11 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your community:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!