Dec 11, 2018 | Press Release

Arcadis Helps New York City Develop Plan to Reduce Trash Truck Traffic by 63 Percent

  • Commercial Waste Zones plan kicks off the future of New York City’s private waste industry
  • Plan aligns with the city’s vision of growth, equity, sustainability and resiliency
  • Insights from data analytics key to plan

New York City — Dec. 11, 2018 — Arcadis (EURONEXT: ARCAD), the leading global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets, has completed a plan to help transform waste collection in New York City. The Commercial Waste Zones plan, developed for New York City’s Department of Sanitation, marks the most significant milestone yet in the process of reforming the city’s commercial waste industry.

“We’re excited to have taken part in this critical effort to overhaul of New York’s private waste industry,” said Peter Glus, Arcadis senior vice president. “Successful implementation will remove about 18 million miles of truck traffic every year — a 63 percent reduction from today.”

The plan lays out a blueprint to divide the city into 20 zones, each served by three to five carters selected through a competitive process. A carter will work only within its zone, which will reduce truck traffic and strengthen service standards while still allowing for customer choice.

“Currently, more than 90 different private carters drive overlapping routes throughout the city each night,” said Glus. “They drive long, inefficient and unsafe routes, which leads to excessive traffic, noise, pollution and diminished quality of life for New Yorkers. The plan will address many of those problems and help propel the city toward a more resilient and sustainable future.”

Under an $8 million contract, the Arcadis-led team developed this framework based on more than a year of rigorous analysis of existing operations in the commercial waste sector. The team analyzed routing and customer data provided by BIC (Business Integrity Commission)-licensed carters for four weeks spread over a one-year period.

“Over the past few years we’ve transformed the way we help cities manage emerging challenges using the latest digital advancements,” said Glus. “Combining advanced data analytics with an intimate understanding of local challenges, we’ve laid the foundation to transform how New York City experiences waste truck traffic.”

The data showed that one block may see trucks passing through up to 400 times in a single day. Routes are largely based on customer preferences, and one route may have as many as 1,000 stops over 100 miles. In some areas, more than 50 trucks serve a single neighborhood.

The plan aims to eliminate these inefficiencies.

Among other requirements, the Commercial Waste Zones plan will:

  • Provide recycling and organics collection to every refuse customer and demonstrate proper disposal of materials
  • Require carters to submit a zero-waste plan and offer recycling and organics collection at a discounted rate
  • Provide transparent pricing that incentivizes cost control and allows customers to negotiate
  • Give customers multiple service options and allow them to switch carters
  • Require carters to submit collective bargaining agreements and comply with labor laws

The next step is to open the plan up to public input, conduct an environmental review and begin working with the city council on legislation. DSNY would then solicit proposals. Once contracts are awarded, customer transitions will likely begin by the end of 2021, with the new system fully in place by 2023.

The view the full plan, visit

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