Department of Sanitation - New York City
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Department of Sanitation - New York City Department of Sanitation - New York City


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Request for Proposals

Additional Resources

New and Emerging Conversion Technology in NYC


Prospective proposers should note that two RFP addenda have been issued to date: Addendum One, dated March 12, 2012 and Addendum Two, dated  April 6, 2012. Those who have subscribed to City Record On-Line to view and/or download the RFP and those who have obtained the RFP through the Department’s Contract Unit will receive all addenda issued.


The Department of Sanitation collects more than three million tons of waste every year from residences and institutions. The City spends more than $300 million to dispose of this waste in landfills and conventional waste-to-energy facilities, often located far outside the City. A substantial portion of the waste New Yorkers throw out could be recycled, composted or cleanly converted to energy. And the City’s recycling rate has been slowly declining in recent years. By many measures - both environmental and financial - the City is creating too much waste and putting too little of it to productive use.

The City projects the cost of waste disposal will continue to increase over the next decade.
Source: NYC Office of Management and Budget projections, October 2011

The City’s “diversion rate”- the amount of residential and institutional waste diverted from landfills and traditional waste to energy facilities - has been slowly declining in recent years.
Source: Department of Sanitation

In January 2012, Mayor Bloomberg announced the City is committed to doubling its diversion rate by 2017. The City’s Waste Reduction Plan has three main parts. First, the City is investing in its infrastructure, including a new recycling processing facility on the Brooklyn waterfront. Second, new and expanded programs will offer more reuse, recycling and composting opportunities. New Yorkers will soon see more recycling bins on city streets, be able to drop off their food waste for composting at more Greenmarkets, and exchange lightly used products and clothing at Stop N’ Swap events in every community. And third, the City will engage the public in new campaigns to increase the diversion rate. The Waste Reduction Plan builds on the City's Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) approved by the City Council in 2006, and PlaNYC, New York City’s long-term sustainability plan.

Two thirds of the diversion rate increase will come from new and expanded reduction, reuse, recycling and compost efforts, as compared to approximately one third from the conversion technology pilot.
Source: Department of Sanitation and PlaNYC

The SWMP was a joint effort of the Bloomberg Administration, the City Council, environmental justice and advocacy organizations, and community groups. It charts a strategic path towards a more equitable and environmentally sound waste management system by dramatically shifting how waste is disposed – rather than transporting waste out of the City by long-haul truck, the majority of City-managed waste will be transported by barge and rail. This shift will significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, decrease annual truck travel by 60 million miles, help improve air quality in the city and ensure that no community bears a disproportionate share of the waste disposal system.

The SWMP and PlaNYC committed to pursuing alternatives to disposal at landfills and traditional waste to energy facilities, such as “new and emerging conversion technologies.” These technologies have long been in commercial use effectively throughout Europe and Asia. These facilities convert waste – either through a biological, chemical or thermal process – into clean energy. They are being piloted throughout the United States and Canada, including in California, Mississippi, and Ottawa, with plans for new facilities in Los Angeles and Cleveland.  The SWMP cited several specific reasons to investigate these new and emerging conversion technologies for New York City;

• Diversification: By diversifying the means of disposal available, the City will be in a stronger position to insulate itself from the effects of an increasingly consolidated national waste management industry.

• Sustainable resource reuse and recovery: Alternative technologies have the potential to recover and reuse a greater portion of the solid waste stream than landfilling, and potentially can do so in a more sustainable manner than traditional waste-to-energy technology.

• Reliability and risk: If alternative technologies provide disposal options in or near the City, this would decrease our reliance on other states, and reduce the risk of obstacles that could undermine component parts of the City’s export plan in the future.

As part of the Waste Reduction Plan, the City will fulfill these prior commitments. On March 6, 2012, the DSNY released a request for proposals for the development of a new and emerging solid waste management technology facility at a site in or near the city. The pilot facility will accept a small portion of residential and institutional waste collected by the City, and convert the waste into a renewable source of energy. In conjunction with the City’s expanded recycling and composting efforts, this facility will mark a significant step towards a more sustainable solid waste disposal policy.

Read the Press Release


The City has conducted several SWMP-mandated studies to identify potential technologies for application on site(s) provided or proposed in or near New York City. 

Phase I

Phase I surveyed the new and emerging waste or conversion technologies that exist commercially or are developing for potential commercial application. The study found that a number of conversion technologies are used in Europe and Japan and could be applied in dense urban environments like New York City and the region.

Phase I Study PDF (8.03MB) 

Phase II

Phase II provided a comparative analysis of conversion technologies to conventional waste-to-energy technology. The study found that anaerobic digestion and thermal processing are the most widely used and have the greatest potential for New York City.  They differ from traditional incinerators in significant ways and could provide substantive benefits:

• Increased recycling
• Significant, sustainable energy production from non-fossil fuel sources
• Lower air emissions, including GHG
• Reduced fuel use and air emissions from waste transportation
• Reduced reliance on landfilling and preservation of land resources

Phase II Study PDF (4.01MB) 

Phase III

Phase III is a Siting Study that identifies potentially viable sites for a new and emerging solid waste management technology pilot in New York City.

Phase III Siting Study PDF (4.00 MB)



Based on the results of the SWMP studies, DSNY is requesting proposals from the private sector to permit, design, construct and operate a conversion technology facility to accept a small portion – less than 10% – of the City’s waste. Eligible proposers must demonstrate a proven, reliable, cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally sound conversion technology that uses waste collected by DSNY as a feedstock for generating a renewable resource. Proposers must be able to point to a facility currently in operation (a “reference facility”) using the same technology, so that the City can verify its performance. The City will bear no risk, as the proposer will be responsible for construction costs and marketing the clean energy produced by the facility.

Only New and Emerging Conversion Technologies will be considered for this pilot; Traditional waste to energy or conventional refuse derived fuel technologies have been excluded. In addition, in keeping with the City’s PlaNYC GHG and pollutant emission reduction efforts, the solicitation requires proposers to provide the following:

• Detailed Pollutant Emissions Data: Proposers must supply detailed emissions and environmental performance data regarding the proposed facility, as well as the reference facility.

• GHG Emissions Data: Proposers must provide information on how the proposed facility would further PlaNYC’s GHG reduction goals.

• Independent Health Evaluation: The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will serve as a technical advisor to independently evaluate emissions data for the evaluation committee.

The City remains committed to the “fair share” principles of the SWMP and is committed to applying those principles to a New & Emerging Conversion Technology pilot. The City addresses Environmental Justice issues in the solicitation by requiring:

• Public Participation Plan: Proposers must submit a Public Participation Plan, whether or not such a plan is required by DEC for permitting. The Plan must include meaningful opportunities for public involvement throughout the planning, approval, implementation, construction, testing and operation phases of the Pilot and Expanded Facility.

• Broader Siting Review:  Proposers must include information regarding the distribution of municipal and solid waste management facilities and pollution sources in the vicinity of the site.

To ensure the City thoroughly evaluates the proposals not only on their waste components, but also on the energy, financing, health and other components, the Evaluation Committee will be comprised of representatives from the Department of Sanitation, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Economic Development Corporation, and the Mayor’s Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability. Officials from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will also serve as Technical Advisors to the Evaluation Committee.


PIN # 82712RR00028


Prospective proposers should note that two RFP addenda have been issued to date: Addendum One, dated March 12, 2012 and Addendum Two, dated  April 6, 2012. Those who have subscribed to City Record On-Line to view and/or download the RFP and those who have obtained the RFP through the Department’s Contract Unit will receive all addenda issued.

Procurement Schedule:



RFP Issuance Date

March 6, 2012

REVISED Proposal Due Date / Time

August 9, 2012, 11:00 AM


Press Release:

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Request for Proposals to Build State of the Art Conversion Facility to Convert Waste to Clean Energy 

Conversion Technology in NYC:

Phase I Study PDF (860 KB)

Phase II Study PDF (4.03 MB)

Phase III Siting Study PDF (4.00 MB)

New York City Council, Committee on Solid Waste and Sanitation, Oversight Hearing: “An Overview of Waste-to-Energy Technologies PDF (179KB) 

Conversion Technology in the United States:

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Conversion Technology Study for the County of Santa Barbara and the Cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang and Buellton

Los Angeles County Integrated Waste Management Task Force

Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality

Waste Reduction and Recycling in NYC:

Department of Sanitation’s Bureau of Waste Prevention Reduction and Recycling

PlaNYC Solid Waste Chapter

Summary of the Local Law 19 Amendments of 2010 PDF (132 KB)

NYC Solid Waste Management Plan