NYC Commercial Waste Zones:
What Businesses Need To Know

NYC Commercial Waste Zones. Image from DSNY.
NYC Commercial Waste Zones. Image from DSNY.

The Department of Sanitation’s new NYC Commercial Waste Zones program promises to reshape the city’s commercial waste industry. Change is coming. Here is what NYC businesses need to know.

What is NYC Commercial Waste Zones?

Under Local Law 199, the NYC Commercial Waste Zones program will divide the city into 20 zones, each served by up to three carters. In addition, five carters will operate citywide to pick up larger containers (10 yards and up) across zones.

Currently, any area may be serviced by dozens of private carters that crisscross the city picking up waste from businesses. The Commercial Waste Zones program aims to make the system of waste collection more organized and consolidated. The new program will reduce miles traveled and harmful emissions from waste hauling vehicles while improving safety standards for workers in the commercial carting industry, and offering incentives for increasing diversion rates.

Rollout of NYC Commercial Waste Zones 

Fall 2024: Queens Central, which includes the neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurst, is the first zone where implementation will occur. While the exact date of implementation is still unconfirmed, it is expected to be in September 2024.

Rollout of the remaining 19 zones is expected to be completed by 2026.

What Does This Mean for NYC Businesses? 

No action is needed until implementation occurs in your zone. At that time:

Your businesses will only need to switch out the current hauler providing service if the current hauler was not awarded the zone where your site resides. (*Great Forest will take care of this switch for clients, and will continue to manage waste management services as normal in NYC.) See a list of carters awarded by zone.

Upward pressure on prices may occur as zones start to roll out due to a confluence of factors, including:

Incentives/benefits include:

    • Carters must charge their customers less for the collection of recycling and compostable material than they do for the collection of refuse, giving NYC’s 200,000 businesses an opportunity to save money while helping to divert material from landfill.
    • With less emissions, and more use of electric waste hauling vehicles, the Commercial Waste Zones program will potentially mean lower Scope 3 emissions for businesses that are tracking and reporting.

Find Your Zone

ENTER YOUR ADDRESS IN THE SEARCH BAR BELOW to find your commercial waste zone.

Mouse over the green map areas to view zone details.


Great Forest will continue to monitor the rollout of the NYC Commercial Waste Zones program. Clients will be informed of any changes needed to carters and cost. Have questions? Contact us.

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