Picking Up by Robin Lang all about Department of Sanitation New York City

Discussion in 'Waste Removal and Garbage Truck Driver Forum' started by Mike2633, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Mike2633

    Mike2633 Road Train Member

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    I know with the snow emergency both Goldsmith and Bloomberg we’re away and hiding and couldn’t be found, when all heck was breaking lose and so they couldn’t get the emergency declared.

    Mrs. Nagle didn’t say why city hall had a no salt order. Goldsmiths job was to cut cut cut to “save money” I don’t know if he was the one to say will save money by not using salt. Goldsmith shouldn’t be allowed around a snow plow or garbage truck the man has no business around that equipment wouldn’t no the first thing about it. He ran the Indianapolis Department of Public Works into the ground and then when he realized that was bad for getting re-elected and he was getting heat from the municipal workers union he backed off let the union and Indianapolis DPW do there thing and didn’t have any trouble again because that idiot needed to build political capital.

    they said the 1994 snow storm in Indy was as bad as the 2010 snow storm in NYC and were both handled by Goldsmith the same way.

    Goldsmith was awful with the Indianapolis DPW he was even worse with DSNY which DSNY is unlike any other municipality service department it’s a para military organization and will talk about this in my concluding post, but it has an actual mission and it’s own military ranking system it’s employees are not considered civilians Goldsmith thought he could just go in there and start screwing things around the man did a lot of damage to the DSNY it’s why he had to step down after the snow storm Goldsmith was an outsider he didn’t understand the Indianapolis DPW how the heck was he supposed to understand the DSNY obviously it didn’t work.

    I don’t know and I wasn’t up on stuff like that in those years I wasn’t in trucking yet, but from what I understand Bloomberg really all he did was ride Julianies coattails. I don’t really think very much of either Goldsmith or Mike Bloomberg.
    I guess Goldsmith saw the revamping of the cities 311 complaint line and he tried to streamline and revamp the cities payroll system.

    I guess payroll at the city was an absolute JOB to do they said the payroll at the DSNY was a miserable job and chore to figure out. I guess Goldsmith tried to clean some of that up.
     
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  3. Mike2633

    Mike2633 Road Train Member

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    Conclusion
    The big idea and that's what reading books is all about it's about ideas. The big idea behind Picking Up by Robin Nagle was, people don't want to deal with there own garbage and they don't want to deal with the people who deal with there garbage. In fact it's gotten so bad a lot of municipalities of smaller scale your typical suburbs don't even want to deal with garbage at all.
    [​IMG]

    In the 1950s-1980s 99% of suburbs and townships dealt with garbage collection them selves. Around the middle 1980s through early 2000s the smaller cities started cutting out garbage collection and hired private haulers to haul garbage.

    Prior to 1950 you had a lot of lose rag tag private haulers hauling garbage it was lose and not reliable, it's why Los Angeles and every other city out there got into garbage hauling they didn't have choice like NYC it was becoming a public health issue and government is in charge of infrastructure.

    However in the middle 1980s you saw the rise of these big national garbage haulers, the names have now changed due to corporate buy outs and mergers, but you know who they are Waste Management and BFI which is now Republic etc etc those are the big 2. Those went after a lot of the smaller municipalities that are out there, generally the bigger cities like DSNY is to big and to many rules and red tape and unions and stuff you can't bust DSNY, other cities like Cleveland your not going to bust the City of Cleveland either the big cities not so much.

    But the big idea is a lot of people even city hall doesn't want to deal with the garbage.
    IMG_5753.JPG
    City of Fairview Park Service Department

    If you look the light gray trucks the 2 that there are, are the garbage trucks, they don't use them any more. The city of Fairview Park decided that it didn't want to deal with the garbage anymore it was to yucky for them and in 2012 hired a contractor. Which by the way hasn't exactly gone off without a hitch. Now what's interesting is I walked by there maybe at the start of fall see the little garbage truck it was parked over on the other side, they since moved it, I don't know maybe they were using it for something. It's estimated now and nobody knows the exact number that most municipalities around 70-75% of municipalities no longer collect there own garbage they just hire a company. Which I'll be honest with you we have a company now I think the service they provide is extremely mediocre they come, but some days they leave an absolute mess behind, we have a lot of limitations on what we can do and can't do, a lot of the people who lived here before I moved in said it wasn't always like this, the city gutted the service department in 2012 and made them very weak there the weakest they have ever been. The city still does leaf collection in the fall most cities do because it's easy and clean and doesn't go all year, and not so much this year, but last year leaf collection almost broke the service department.
    IMG_4007 (1).JPG

    It's absolutely pathetic how these high tax high dollar suburbs like where I live are so pathetic about things, well our big problem is in my town the public schools are way mismanaged and they take all the money.

    I flat out told the city councilman in my neighborhood I said you know, I don't use the schools I mean I get we need to have them and I'm not against them, but I'm pretty sure that they are not spending my tax dollars efficiently. I know the middle school in my town had a major management shift a few people got fired and a few people quit. A vice principal was let go, that's all my money going out the window. I don't use the public schools I understand we need to have them and as long as there being efficient I don't care, there fine, but they seem to really be the cities biggest line item not the garbage collection.

    I told the councilman I don't use the schools, I don't use the fire department and I hope none of you do either, I don't use the police and I hope none of you do either, now I think we need the police and fire department which by the way the police and fire department are totally necessary and they are not the big line item. But I use the garbage collection. I use it every day. I have a corner lot I make a lot of yard waste, now I'm only one guy I don't make a lot of actual garbage maybe a bag a week, but that's still a bag a week and I don't appreciate the city dumbing down the garbage service because they don't want to deal with it anymore and pretending to save money because of it. I can tell you this after 7-8 years of BFI price hikes the amount of money saved is almost nothing in fact it's becoming a problem now and the city even looked at recent pricing and thought uhhh we might have to start thinking about bringing this in house again because the savings is no longer there, they even talked about switching vendors in the future or deciding to start it up in house again.

    You can go your entire life, without using the police and I hope you all do. You can go your entire life without using the fire department and I hope you all do, but you can not go a day without using the garbage department. Can't be done. That's exactly why these cities small cities hired it out, they can't handle the day to day garbage collection but why can't they? well they could like we saw in the final DSNY posts, things weren't weak until they were made weak.

    City of Fairview Park Service Department wasn't weak until the politicians made it weak. They weren't weak in the 1990s and early 2000s. I know because my neighbors who have lived here for 40-25 years tell me so.

    DSNY didn't fail in 2010 until the politicians made it fail.
    It's not the ground level workers I don't blame them they are you and me, it's the people in charge who screw it up and by in charge I mean city hall. It's not the ground level manager he's backed into a corner same as you and me he's even got it worse in some cases.

    The point is it's not going away it's as old as time and man it's self, everyday you are going to need a garbage man.

    It really is a matter of what the mission is DSNY's mission is to keep the city clean and keep the health of the city up and no other organization has done more for the health of the citizens then the DSNY.

    The City of Fairview Park I think at one point in time there service department had a mission, but I'm pretty sure they don't have a mission any more because there core job and business and only reason they were even formed was taken away from them, and I'm sure they were happy to see it go. Because that's a pain in the butt to collect garbage, it's everyday of the week 750 houses per collection route.

    You know the news likes to rag on The City of Cleveland, department of sanitation, but finally 19 Action news to there credit finally gave the city of Cleveland department of sanitation some credit and said you know it is a big job they do, bigger then most people want to recognize, the politicians in my city they didn't have the back bone to keep the garbage collection up although to there credit they were kind of late in the game to hire a contractor 2012. I think with a lot of things the days of outsourcing are pretty much done. The head of the shop where I work said a lot of school districts outsourced there school busing that ended up biting a lot of them in the rear end they got a good deal the first year and the second year the price went up up up.

    I know where I work we have are own company shop not all divisions do and um some of the work the big name brand national vendor we have some of the work they do is pretty lousy and they charge a lot of money to do bad work. I think outsourcing was a myth in a lot of cases anytime someone tells you we can do the same thing cheaper and better it's not always true, somewhere a corner is going to be cut.

    To the DSNYs credit they have a herculean task and job to do, and they do not cut corners and when the politicians let them run they way they should be they do have supervisors and collectors and middle and upper managers who do take there work and job very seriously it's the politicians that get in the way.

    City of Cleveland is the same way the news likes to laugh at them, although not all the time, but lets be honest every company has there moments I work for a private company don't think we've never had a service failure we had mistakes happen to, nobody is without sin. Now more times then not, things go off pretty good, heck it was just this week Amazon said they are displeased with the way FedEx ships things and were telling there 3rd party sellers not use FedEx because FedEx can't meet there service standards. Anyhow back to the City of Cleveland yes at times they are sloppy about things, it's because they have a bad city council and bad mayoral leadership, however, they don't have a bad police of fire chief and there operations department I think can be competent at times, when they stick to the plan. It's just they are sloppy with there organization.

    However the one thing they do alright is the garbage collection every now and then they get razzed on the news for doing a bad job, but it's not all the time, and to there credit 19 Action News finally said you know it is a big job they do though it's everyday of the week each route is 750 houses it's millions of tons a week collected it's year round non-stop it's huge job eventually eventually your going to hit a bump in the road here and there, but at the end of the day you can't go without them.

    Anyhow thank you all for reading, I know this took half a year to do, thank you all for your response I hope you all have a safe and prosperous Christmas and happy new year.
     
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  4. Itsbrokeagain

    Itsbrokeagain Light Load Member

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    Well said. Enjoyed reading every bit of it.

    We are suffering from our own outsourcing/vendor ideas the upper management puts into play. Con Ed used to be 40,000+ union strong. Everyone had a job, we did all our own work in house, we maintained the grid and equipment.

    Pataki broke us up after ruling we were a monopoly. So the powerhouses got sold to third party contractors. Who routinely screw stuff up and our PGM mechanics and welders (based out of Van Nest) still have to go to their locations and patch/replace boiler tubing and who knows what else.

    As of today we are 8,000 union, if that. They hire less and less each year. For 50-100 guys that retire, they may hire 10. Construction services is so overloaded with work, we get contractors to lay new ducts/services to buildings or dig up old ones. I usually had to go into the manholes afterwards to Vactor/clean them out so our crews could work... Lemme tell you they do a horrible job. Leftover concrete laying on cable, hard as a rock. And if anything they charge almost as much as it would have cost us to do inhouse. But the bean counters upstairs know best, if they can save 2 dollars let's do it.

    My current dept we used to recondition 3-400 transformers a year. Now we do maybe 100. All the new equipment from GE or ABB is made so cheap internally they have a service life of 20-30 years tops, whereas the old stuff getting pulled was in service 35-40 years, sometimes even longer. Heck, there are transformers buried in the foundation of the Whitestone Bridge here that date back to the 30s and are in pristine condition. Solid copper internals and lead paint goes a long way lol.
     
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  5. Mike2633

    Mike2633 Road Train Member

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    That's basically where my city is at the Republic Services is 100K a year cheaper right now then what it would cost the city to get back into it. What's stupid though is, why sell assets that you already have and own? Prior to the switch in 2012 the city owned and operated all the equipment, which, the city did say that it wasn't the equipment and vehicles or the cost of disposing of garbage/ recyclables at the landfill that was the problem, there claim was it was costing them to much in overtime and workers comp.

    I had an interview at the end of 2014 to work for The City of Rocky River, I wasn't hired because as a private sector truck driver I was making well well well above there top pay scale which there top pay scale was like $21.00 an hour.

    However, the nice woman at city hall did say overtime opportunities were plentiful and there was always something to do. Also I have a Class A CDL which made me more valuable to them, because I could run from the transfer station to the landfill the city has 3 tractor trailers and operates it's own transfer station which is very popular with the residents. The point was the woman basically said yeah we don't pay alot, but we have lots of overtime and we have a very generous vacation package at the time the vacation package at the city was million times better then the beer distributor I was working for couldn't even compare, the beer distributor I worked for benefits wise wasn't the worst, but the city had the edge I though on quality of life and vacation time hands down.

    I'm not 100% convinced that outsourcing is cheapest in the long run. Like with my city even if say it wasn't cheaper to have a contractor I bet they would still have one, because of the simple fact if they have a contractor then guess what, that makes the city not responsible. What it really is, is they don't want the operational day to day headache. All costs the city does ultimately pay, but its not on there books so they can claim yeah were saving dough. No overtime payouts. Well there is overtime payouts it's just on some one elses books and it'll be added in when it comes for next years price increase.

    My opinion is outsourcing at any level public or private a lot of private corporations outsource to private companies too, but I think a lot of it was a myth and was just a way to do creative accounting to make it look like pseudo savings were occurring.
     
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  6. Mike2633

    Mike2633 Road Train Member

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    First Energy around here sold off and has all of there power plants for sale. They sold one coal fired plant and have another coal fired plant for sale. They also have a nuke plant that they tried to shut down, but they have been trying very hard to get out of the generating business.
     
  7. Itsbrokeagain

    Itsbrokeagain Light Load Member

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    Cuomo the governor here (another Shan of a human being and a waste of air) is also trying to shut down Indian Point nuclear station, saying a terrorist attack could jeopardize the entire area, and it's dangerous for the people living in the area. Complete BS. Where we gonna get all those Megawatts the place has been generating since the 50s?

    I've repaired some equipment in there...lemme tell you it's guarded like Fort Knoxx. You aren't getting anywhere near the place.
     
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  8. Mike2633

    Mike2633 Road Train Member

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    [​IMG]










    City of Rocky River,Ohio Refuse Truck #33 and Garbage Cart Head Down Wooster Road on a Saturday Collection Route in the Summer of 2019


    So today The City of Rocky River, Ohio passed out the rules and regulations for this upcoming waste collection year 2020. Rocky River is odd, because I think there program is still on the books as being paid for out of the cities general fund they don't have some goofy garbage bill that they give the citizens in the mail, however they have a goofy sewer bill that they give the citizens in the mail that mine as well be called the garbage collection bill.

    Anyhow, the waste collection calendar and the rules and regulations I was reading them, and basically, there is a 500lbs elephant in the room that nobody is addressing and that is that the recycling market basically flat-lined this year and whats happened was I guess, recycling has pretty much become cost prohibitive. It is killing everyone, not just your typical municipal operation, but the big guys to I know Republic Services (formerly BFI) has had ads on the radio saying please if you live in a municipality that uses Republic Services please dump your clean raw recyclables in your 65 gallon container please do not bag anything. What that is telling me is Republic is running into trouble at the recycling plant and the balance sheet isn't looking very good.
    IMG_4672.JPG
    City of Rocky River Leach Alpha 20 Yard Collection Truck June 2019 on a Saturday Collection Route.

    City of Rocky River is telling people please blue bag recyclables, and I would do what ever your local waste authority says, every place is different and does things differently. They have arrangements made with whoever just do what they say the best you can.

    The city says landfill costs and other associated costs year over year are rising. I know The City of Medina, Ohio for a long time didn't have residential yard waste collection which seems kind of odd to me and finally a couple years ago they started collecting yard waste.
    [​IMG]
    City of Medina Yard Waste Courtesy Cleveland.com

    I guess it was a lot cheaper to take yard waste to the county shredder then the landfill. I thought that dumping yard waste in the landfill was against the law, I know in Florida it is a law that yard waste must be collected separately.

    Anyhow City says costs are going up and we all must tighten our belts now, to help keep costs down. The big problem I think is, is recycling has become a real boon doggle.

    Anyhow Saturday I think I should be able to get some good pictures of Rocky Rivers equipment which is good I need some new pictures for my posts lol!
     
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  9. Itsbrokeagain

    Itsbrokeagain Light Load Member

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    That's the one thing that's hitting everyone good right now. The trade war going on, from what I know is supposed to be helping long term for us, but China buys most of our recyclables. So they played hardball and stopped taking shipments.

    Even Action (a big name trash/recycling company up here similar to Republic) was hurting from it. Their transfer station in the Bronx was right across the street from our Vactor dump pit, so i used to watch trucks go in and out for hours. Things slowed down quite a bit towards the end of summer there.
     
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  10. Mike2633

    Mike2633 Road Train Member

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    That’s exactly what happened the recycling market dried up and more stuff was sent to the landfill and landfill fees rose.
     
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