REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) President John Banks recently reached out to the industry about New York City’s updated commercial waste and recycling laws, which began enforcement on August 1, 2017.
As the city with the biggest concentration of commercial buildings in the country, boasting some of the most expensive office spaces in the world, New York City has the potential to make a massive impact on the environment and the City’s Zero Waste by 2030 ambitions with its updated waste and recycling rules. And, as Banks points out, buildings and businesses will also enjoy added benefits.
In an article in Real Estate Weekly, Banks writes that the updated recycling rules simplifies the process and makes it easier for businesses to comply by imposing “… the same regulations across all businesses, streamlining recycling and leaving behind a system where each business type follows a distinct set of guidelines.”
By making it easier to recycle and comply, recycling rates should increase, said Banks, who reasons that the City may thus keep the current commercial waste collection system in place rather than set in motion the City’s proposal to create commercial waste zones in which businesses will lose their ability to choose their own hauler.
How to succeed? Banks tells the industry: “Success will rely on the compliance and cooperation of rank and file workers who understand the new rules… businesses must pass these guidelines onto employees, staff and consumers, and continue to reinforce them so they are fully aware.”
We agree. Communication, awareness and education is key. Here are a few things you must or should do:
- Property owners and building management must notify tenants at least annually about the waste and recycling policies of the building.
- You must post BIC decals identifying carters and materials collected.
- Make sure everyone knows how your waste and recycling program works. This includes staff and tenants, as well as janitorial crew. This could be done through training sessions, webinars, newsletters, events, e-notices, and/or a combination of approaches.
- Share your success to increase support. By raising awareness about your improving recycling rates, you are letting all stakeholders know they are making a difference.
Are you in compliance? Need help? Here are a few helpful resources:
- Q&A On New Organics, Waste And Recycling Rules – What Should Businesses Do? (info on how to get ready, potential penalties, cost of compliance, etc.)
- New Rules Being Enforced: How To Comply and Benefit (with links to City resources)
- Resources from the City (info about the City’s trainings, videos, webinars, etc.)
- New Business Recycling Rules: How To Comply (City notice)