December 29, 2022
Donation Follows Mayor’s Trip to Visit Island, Survey Needs with Local Delegation After Hurricane Fiona Hit in September
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the donation of two standard-size New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) collection trucks to the municipal governments of Vieques and Yabucoa in Puerto Rico. The donations come as Puerto Rico continues recovery efforts from Hurricane Fiona, which devastated the island in September. The donation is being coordinated by the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Service (DCAS) in close collaboration with the New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYCEM) and DSNY. The trucks are expected to arrive in Puerto Rico by January 2023.
“Immediately after Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico earlier this year, my team and I were on the ground assessing needs for New York’s ‘sixth borough’ and providing the resources necessary to offer what assistance we could to those impacted,” said Mayor Adams. “Though the hurricane and its aftermath may have faded from the headlines, this donation of two sanitation trucks underlines our unwavering commitment to our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters amid their ongoing recovery process.”
“Our hearts are with the people of Puerto Rico as they continue to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Fiona,” said DCAS Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “DCAS is proud to coordinate this donation with NYCEM and DSNY, and will continue to explore avenues to provide needed support using city assets.”
“When New Yorkers see the iconic white collection truck — whether getting trash off our streets or fighting extreme weather — they know it means one thing: Help is on the way,” said DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch. “Soon, the people of Puerto Rico will be able to feel that same sense of relief as these trucks begin to provide critical infrastructural capacity for communities beset by recent natural disasters. New York stands with Puerto Rico, and DSNY is proud to do our part.”
“New York City is always ready to spring into action and assist those in need. Soon after Hurricane Fiona devastated Puerto Rico, we sent a multi-agency team to assess the damage,” said NYCEM Commissioner Zach Iscol. “We admire the resiliency of the people of Puerto Rico and we are proud to donate two sanitation trucks in support of the people of our honorary sixth borough.”
Puerto Rico has been reeling from the effects of natural disasters since Hurricanes Maria and Irma made landfall in 2017. This past September, Hurricane Fiona brough torrential rainfall to some areas of the island, severely impacting the government’s ability to provide critical services to its residents. Among these major issues is the inability to effectively collect waste. Puerto Rico’s sanitation trucks have suffered major mechanical failures and the necessity to use alternate routes have impeded their service. With the donation of these two trucks, Puerto Rico stands to make strides in improving its collection service and mitigating this serious public health issue.
DSNY has identified the collection trucks that will be sent to Puerto Rico and is working collaboratively with DCAS and NYCEM to deliver them to the island. The two Mack trucks, manufactured in 2015 and 2016 respectively, will be transported directly from New York City to Puerto Rico and are worth more than $500,000 together.
New York City has a strong track record of stepping up to assist other regions here and abroad in the wake of natural disasters. The city donated fleet and construction equipment to Indonesia in 2004 following the tsunami that ravaged the nation. It also donated a New York City Police Department rescue truck to Greenburgh Police Department in Westchester, New York and a Fire Department of the City of New York FDNY fire truck to the West Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department in Howard Beach, New York in 2015.
“At DCAS, we know how critical municipal fleet trucks and equipment are to emergency response,” said New York City Chief Fleet Officer and DCAS Deputy Commissioner Keith Kerman. “On behalf of all of New York City’s fleet professionals, we are proud to work with DSNY and NYCEM to extend this support to our friends in Puerto Rico. “
“It has been months since Hurricane Fiona devastated Puerto Rico and while the island has had progress in its’ recovery, there is still more work that must be done,” said U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez. “These collection trucks from DSNY will be crucial to helping to collect the large amounts of wastewater that has been building and causing a serious public health issue for Puerto Ricans. I would like to thank Mayor Adams for showing his commitment and support for the people of Puerto Rico by providing them with these trucks to help in the road to recovery.”
“My heart is so grateful for the response of all New Yorkers in the efforts to help our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona,” said New York State Senator Luis Sepúlveda. “The history of our people goes hand in hand and is united by a brotherhood of many years. When the hurricane tragedy struck, Mayor Eric Adams put all his efforts to help Puerto Ricans here and there. He visited the island and brought needed resources for our people. As a Puerto Rican, as a Latino, as a New Yorker, I thank the mayor and the city agencies for this new donation that reaffirms our commitment to our brothers and sisters and is a sign of the importance that this administration has given to our people.”
“As a member of the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force and a lifelong New York City resident, I’m grateful to see this donation of two DSNY Trucks to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The devastation wrought by Hurricane Fiona this September is a national tragedy that demands we step up and support our fellow American citizens,” said New York State Assemblymember David I. Weprin. “Though separated by thousands of miles, both our island homes face the calamitous threats of climate change – flooding, infrastructure failure, economic devastation, and the loss of basic needs like shelter, food, and security. I want to praise Mayor Eric Adams and the efforts of the Department of Citywide Administrative Service, New York City Office of Emergency Management, and the Department of Sanitation for taking a leadership role in providing direct aid to the people of Puerto Rico. I will continue to foster the crucial connections between the people and leaders of Puerto Rico and New York City in any way that I can.”
“I would like to thank Mayor Adams and the City Of New York for not forgetting the people of Puerto Rico, while the majority of the power has been restored and the news coverage has gone somewhere else; the residents of Puerto Rico are still dealing with years of fiscal deficits, hurricanes, earthquakes and the lingering effects of the COVID pandemic,” said New York State Assemblymember Maritza Davila, chair, New York State Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force. This gesture is another step towards strengthening the bonds between the residents of New York and our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico.”
“New York City is home to over one million Puerto Ricans, some even refer to the island of Puerto Rico as our sixth borough,” said New York State Assemblymember Kenny Burgos. “Recent years of disasters have wreaked havoc on our sister island and I thank Mayor Adams for his unwavering support of the island of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans throughout the diaspora.”
“One of the finest qualities of New Yorkers is that, when tragedy strikes, we spring into action. Mayor Adams embodied this when Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico, immediately leading a delegation to aid in disaster management,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “Now his humanitarian effort continues with a donation of over half a million dollars in sanitation equipment that will serve as catalyst for recovery. Thank you to our mayor and all the city agencies working together to help New York’s sixth borough.”
“I applaud the efforts made by Mayor Eric Adams in his continued support to the people of Puerto Rico,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías. “New York must do everything we can to send necessary resources to the government on the island and the families who have been most affected. I look forward to continuing to work with the mayor, his administration, and all of our agencies to support our sixth borough — Puerto Rico.”
“I’m pleased that our city is able to aid in Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts,” said New York City Councilmember Althea Stevens. “It is vital we are offering assistance and additional services, as many of family members and friends were traumatically affected by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. We must stand in unification to ensure an effective recovery for Puerto Rico.”
“As Puerto Rico continues to recover from Hurricane Fiona, we must support their recovery as best as we can,” said New York City Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez. “In the past, our city has made donations during other natural disasters, and this is no different. The donation of the DSNY trucks will provide much-needed assistance to support Puerto Rico’s emergency response. I am excited to see my home island receive the support of New York City and look forward to their recovery.”
“We can only chart the path forward for Puerto Rico’s resiliency when all communities come together to support their neighbors,” said Frankie Miranda, president and CEO, Hispanic Federation. “New York City has shown its commitment to Puerto Rican residents time and time again, and this holiday season is no different. In the spirit of giving, New York City is doing its part to ensure that Puerto Rico has the resources and equipment they need to keep the island vibrant and strong. We thank Mayor Eric Adams and his administration for their support and commitment to the people of Puerto Rico.”
“On behalf of the New York City Hispanic Chamber of commerce we applaud the generous efforts of our mayor to support and help the citizens of Puerto Rico,” said Frank Diaz, New York City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “The mayor has been a staunch supporter to the Puerto Ricans in the Island of Encanto.”
“The over three million American citizens of Puerto Rico have faced turbulent times over the last several years. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and neglect from the federal government have economically decimated the island,” said Ruben Diaz Jr., former Bronx borough president. “New York has always been there for our families. Therefore, Mayor Adams’ commitment and donations are not only welcomed but is another example of the long-lasting friendship that he’s had with the Puerto Rican community. On behalf of our families and towns that desperately need these trucks and equipment, we say ‘gracias Mayor Adams’ for delivering an early Navidad!”
“I applaud the efforts, compassion, and generosity of Mayor Adams in his continued humanitarian efforts in our beloved island of Puerto Rico,” said Dr. Anderson Torres, president and CEO, R.A.I.N. Total Care, Inc. “The donation of the sanitation trucks can’t come at a better time especially during this holiday season to assist our towns.”
“This is a great gift to the people of Puerto Rico,” said Adam Clayton Powell IV, former New York State assemblymember. “My island has suffered a lot in recent months and they desperately need all the help they can get. Kudos to Mayor Eric Adams for coming through with the best gift during this holiday season.”
“In recent years natural disasters have wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and economy,” said Ululy Rafael Martinez, former board member, National Puerto Rican Day Parade. “While sanitation trucks are something we take for granted here in New York City, in many areas of the island this type of essential equipment is desperately need. I applaud Mayor Adams for being responsive to that need.”