The Real Estate Board of New York to The City Council Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management

Ryan Monell

Vice President of Government Affairs

April 18, 2023

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REBNY appreciates this opportunity to testify on several of the bills being heard today.

BILL: Intro 544-2022

SUBJECT: This bill would establish fines for buildings that violate The Department of Sanitation’s new waste and recycling set-out rules, as set out in section 1-02.1 of Title 16 of the Rules of the City of New York. The fines escalate based on the number of units in the building and the number of violations received over a 12-month period. Fines range from $100 for the first 5 violations for a building with 5 or fewer units, to $3,500 for over 16 violations for a building with 51 or more units.

SPONSORS: Council Members Chi A. Ossé, Sandy Nurse, Farah N. Louis, Carmen N. De La Rosa, Shekar Krishnan, Christopher Marte, James F. Gennaro, Sandra Ung, Alexa Avilés, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Lynn C. Schulman, Kristin Richardson Jordan, Julie Won, Marjorie Velázquez, Nantasha M. Williams, Crystal Hudson, Lincoln Restler, Mercedes Narcisse, Keith Powers, Julie Menin, Shaun Abreu, Erik D. Bottcher, Carlina Rivera, Pierina Ana Sanchez, Inna Vernikov, (in conjunction with the Brooklyn Borough Presiden

REBNY generally supports Intro 544, while believing more clarity is needed. Specifically, the rule referenced in the legislation establishes set-out requirements for both residential and commercial buildings, but the fines in the proposal are tied to the number of units in a building so it is unclear how they would apply to commercial buildings. In addition, the referenced rule allows tied and bundled cardboard to be placed on the curb un-containerized, which should be reflected in the exemptions listed in paragraph (1) of Subdivision c.

BILL: Intro 846-2022

SUBJECT: This bill would require the Department of Sanitation to develop a plan for accepting and disposing of batteries used in personal mobility devices such as electric scooters and bikes. The plan would, at a minimum, establish two sites where the public can drop off used batteries that is open 7 days a week; accept these batteries at collection or disposal event run by DSNY, work with businesses that sell rechargeable batteries to set up a take-back program, and produce a program to educate the public on the proper disposal of these batteries.

SPONSORS: Sandy Nurse, Shahana K. Hanif, Christopher Marte, Kalman Yeger, Rita C. Joseph, Althea V. Stevens, Kristin Richardson Jordan, Lynn C. Schulman, Lincoln Restler, Julie Menin, Sandra Ung, Kamillah Hanks, Shaun Abreu, Gale A. Brewer, Mercedes Narcisse, Farah N. Louis

REBNY supports this legislation, and encourages its improvement in two ways. First, as this legislation implemented it should be coordinated with Intro. 949, which requires the City to provide replacement batteries for free or at a low cost by ensure that the two facilities in each Borough that can take recycled batteries participate in that trade-in program. Second, if businesses take back used batteries, the City needs to provide businesses with explicit directions how to do that safely to prevent fires. This includes providing businesses with direction on how to safely store used batteries in a proper outdoor container or provide for a disposal requirement that ensures businesses do not keep used batteries for a meaningful length of time.

We thank the Committee for holding this hearing and look forward to working with you on these important matters.

Topics Covered

  • Sanitation