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PR- 277-13
August 12, 2013


Remarks by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

“The next bills before me today continue our Administration’s efforts to ensure our City has a robust recycling system and punishes those that illegally take City property or recyclables for their own financial gain.

“Introductory Number 889-A, sponsored by Council Members James, Williams, Dromm, Koo, Koppell, Mendez, Lappin, Gentile, Levin, Gennaro, Van Bramer, Jackson and Halloran amends the City’s theft of recycling law by requiring a written agreement between a building owner and a private recyclables collector prior to the removal of recyclables.  This legislation also requires any building with four or more residential units or occupied by a City agency that receives Sanitation Department collection and is in need of supplemental collection to first request supplemental collection from the Sanitation Department before entering into any additional agreements.

“Furthermore, there has been an increase in the theft of recyclable material containing refrigerants, which often results in harmful CFCs being released into the air.  This legislation makes it unlawful for any person to remove a refrigerant-containing item or Department-marked item that has been placed out by the owner for Sanitation Department collection.

“Violations for this legislation include criminal and/or civil penalties ranging from $500 to $2,000.  In addition, violators may also be subject to imprisonment for up to 48 hours.

“Introductory Number 893-A, sponsored by Council Members Recchia, Koo, Koppell, Van Bramer, Lappin, Gennaro, Gentile, Dromm, Jackson and Ulrich limits the ability of individuals to collect recyclable beverage containers in bulk using a motor vehicle on City streets.  This legislation prohibits this practice while providing exceptions for those who are City employees or licensed private carters.  In addition, this legislation ensures that the owner of a vehicle used in an illegal transfer of recycling beverage containers in bulk is also liable unless they can show that the vehicle was used without their knowledge. 

“Any individuals who wish to collect bulk recyclable beverage containers on private property from more than one person must now register with the Department of Sanitation and ensure they do not create a nuisance or hazardous condition by maintaining clean sidewalks and roadways around their site.  Violations of this law can result in civil penalties between $250 and $1,000 along with the potential for an owner’s vehicle to be impounded.

“Introductory Number 888-A, sponsored by Council Members James, Williams, Dromm, Koo, Koppell, Mendez, Rose, Wills, Levin, Gennaro, Gentile, Van Bramer, Jackson, Lappin, Ulrich and Halloran prohibits anyone but an owner or authorized agent to remove a utility manhole cover, water supply system manhole cover, or a sewer manhole cover.  Violations of this law will result in a minimum civil penalty of $2,500 and constitute a misdemeanor which provides for imprisonment and/or fines of at least $500.  By punishing those who commit these crimes, we will set a deterrent for these actions that are a threat to the public’s safety and a cost to taxpayers.

“I would like to thank Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty and his staff along with my Office of City Legislative Affairs for their work on these bills.  I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation.”


Marc LaVorgna/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958


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