A new report presented to the New York City Council this week found that private trash trucks in the city are unsafe due to neglected maintenance issues.
Proponents of private refuse trucks, however, claim that the trucks are safer than the two-year study suggests.
The report from Transportation Alternatives and Transform Don’t Trash NYC, which draws on federal inspection data, found that nearly half of all the private trash trucks throughout the top 20 fleets in the city had to be taken out of service because of maintenance problems, including broken lights and bald tires, according to “New York Daily News.”
Drivers told city council members Thursday about driving trucks with non-working headlights, windshield wipers and brake lights. One driver said his brakes lines froze up in winter and caused him to crash into a telephone pole.
A local truck drivers’ union said that drivers have been reporting problems with the trucks that are not being addressed.
“The companies are sending workers out on trucks that are unsafe for everyone,” Sean Campbell, president of Teamsters Local 813, told the council.
A company cited in the report, Crown Container, had at one time an 86 percent out-of-service rate for its trucks.
However, Crown’s president, Gerald Antonacci, challenged that finding and said that his trucks undergo regular inspections and that his fleet is being upgraded.
“Some of them are minor, minor things,”Antonacci said of the violations. “And none of them have resulted in any types of crashes, any harm to anybody.”
“I would put our fleet up against anybody’s fleet,” he added.
The National Waste & Recycling Association also disputed the report’s findings.
Transportation Alternatives and Transform Don’t Trash NYC support a city bill that they believe will improve city oversight by assigning certain zones to private trash companies.