FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 17, 2021
NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced a major milestone in the Authority’s efforts to make buildings and grounds visibly clean and free of pests by 2025. The Federal Monitor’s approval of NYCHA’s City Capital Action Plan unlocked $563.5 million in funding to help the Authority fully upgrade its waste infrastructure.
The funds provided through the approval are supplemented by $8.9 million in federal funds to address targeted waste management needs at various developments across the city. This is in addition to the Authority’s ongoing $47 million investment as part of the Mayor’s Neighborhood Rat Reduction Program – which enabled the Authority to enlarge trash chute doors at 50 developments; install interior compactors at 38 developments; exterior compactors at 16 developments; bulk crushers at 10 developments and 20 cardboard balers.
Over the past two years, NYCHA has worked diligently to upgrade the waste infrastructure at Neighborhood Rat Reduction sites as identified in the NYCHA 2.0 Waste Management Plan. As part of this work, NYCHA completed its obligation under the HUD Agreement to provide targeted relief in units with a previously recurring pest infestation; established a new Waste Management Department; optimized our procedures for procuring contractors for waste related capital projects; as well as hired and trained 22 additional pest technicians through the Authority’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability.
Additionally, with $7 million in City funding, the Authority hired 1,000 seasonal workers through Mayor de Blasio’s City Cleanup Corps initiative, staffers who are designated to keep the grounds, playgrounds, and buildings at NYCHA developments clean and well maintained, including by assisting with NYCHA’s pest control work.
The funds provided by the City of New York through the HUD Agreement will enable the Authority to completely upgrade the waste yards at 194 of 335 developments. The Authority is currently implementing a newly established, detailed standard procedure for implementing HUD’s Integrated Pest Management model across all of the Authority’s developments.
NYCHA will continue to coordinate with other city agencies such as the FDNY and DSNY on other improvements, including enlarging the size of trash chute doors and increasing the capacity for weekly trash pickups and the handling of bulk waste. Over the past two years, NYCHA has also leveraged the capacity of private bulk-carting vendors to boost service frequency at public housing developments.
“Waste management is one of the most important and complex challenges that NYCHA faces," said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. "The increased investments enabled through these funds will allow us to replace vital infrastructure that has reached the end of its useful life – and support NYCHA’s mission to provide safe, sanitary, and healthy homes for our residents.”
“Since NYCHA buildings were first built, the amount of waste generated by American households has tripled, while the infrastructure needed to manage that increase hasn’t kept pace,” said NYCHA Chief Operating Officer Vito Mustaciuolo. “We are thankful for this massive infusion of capital funds – which will allow us to fully modernize our waste management and recycling systems; make proper trash disposal more convenient; and significantly improve the quality-of-life for our residents.”
“This new funding marks a significant step forward in our collaborative efforts to increase waste capacity for hundreds of developments across the city. The Department of Sanitation is proud to partner with NYCHA on forward-thinking infrastructure that will ensure cleaner, safer grounds for all NYCHA residents,” said Edward Grayson, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation.
“A priority of our administration is to ensure that all New Yorkers have safe, quality, and affordable homes,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “This significant investment will allow the City to improve the quality-of-life of our NYCHA families and their communities by modernizing the outdated waste management equipment at hundreds of NYCHA developments.
In 2019, NYCHA released a comprehensive Waste Management Plan focused on delivering state-of-the-art infrastructure and providing residents with convenient locations for disposing recyclables and food waste in support of the goal of making NYCHA campuses free of visible garbage, litter, and pest infestations. As part of that plan, a needs assessment and prioritization strategy was developed incorporating such factors as the remaining useful life of NYCHA trash compactors, the volume of service repair requests, and resident complaints.
This analysis was coupled with the HUD Agreement’s obligations related to waste management and pest control, which called on the Authority to remove building refuse once-a-day or store waste in pest-proof containers and to shift NYCHA’s pest management focus toward prevention and addressing the root causes of infestations.
Priority areas that emerged include the need to standardize the Authority’s waste management processes, instill a stronger culture of recycling and proper trash disposal, and renovate the equipment needed to handle waste and recycling streams from top-to-bottom.
In the coming year, NYCHA will also unveil and expand upon several pilot programs designed to reduce bulk and landfill waste and reduce waste spillage. Some key examples include:
These programs are in addition to outreach and education by resident-led groups as well as public awareness campaigns designed to define and promote a positive waste culture at NYCHA.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) The New York City Housing Authority (“NYCHA” or the “Authority”) provides affordable housing to 380,299 authorized residents in over 177,611 apartments within 335 housing developments. NYCHA serves 359,593 authorized residents in over 168,100 apartments within 285 housing developments through the conventional public housing program (Section 9) and 20,706 authorized residents in 9,511 units within 50 developments that have been converted to PACT/RAD. Through federal rent subsidies (Section 8 Leased Housing Program), NYCHA also assists approximately 77,663 families in locating and renting units. In addition, NYCHA facilitates access to social services through a variety of programs. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.