NYSNA is a member of the Transform Don’t Trash NYC coalition, which seeks to transform the commercial waste industry in NYC to create good jobs and clean and safe communities for all New Yorkers. Right now, NYC businesses like hospitals and restaurants rely on hundreds of private waste companies with thousands of trucks to pick up their waste and recycling. This industry is a “Wild West” with low recycling rates, poor conditions for workers, infrastructure that creates extreme air pollution in a few low-income communities and communities of color, and lack of oversight.
In September, Lorraine Pierre, RN, from Lincoln Hospital’s pediatric emergency department spoke passionately at a press conference about the impact excess trucks and pollution have on her young patients in the South Bronx.
“The ultimate effect of air pollution on public health is premature death. This is particularly shameful with regard to our children. And we see them at Lincoln hospital. Children are sick from the pollution…with asthma and other respiratory ailments. As nurses, we urge all New Yorkers to fight for equality in healthcare, and that means conditions in our city, especially the quality of air.”
The coalition recently won a major victory when the de Blasio administration announced it will implement a municipal zoned system of commercial waste collection to address these problems and promote our city’s health.