New York City Commercial Waste Zones

Data-driven, efficient waste collection

Click to watch video




Our client’s challenge

New York City’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY), realized that its waste collection system is very inefficient and, as a result, too many trash trucks are on the roads, producing unnecessary noise and air pollution. More than 90 different waste management companies have trucks servicing the city, with overlapping routes throughout neighborhoods each night. In some areas, more than 50 trucks are servicing a single neighborhood and some city-blocks have trucks passing by up to 400 times each day. So, our client DSNY, needed a plan for a new way to organize the waste collection system to reduce the negative impacts on city citizens.

The solution

An Arcadis-led team developed the Commercial Waste Zones plan to address this problem. The team analyzed routing and customer data in order to devise a more efficient system for waste collection. The plan lays out a blueprint for dividing the city into 20 zones, each served by only three to five waste management companies.

The impact

Our use of predictive analytics has generated a plan that will reduce garbage truck traffic by 18 million miles a year, a 63% reduction from the current system. The next step is to open the plan to public input, conduct environmental reviews and begin working with the city council to draft legislation. After this, the DSNY can solicit proposals from waste management companies, award contracts and begin the process of transitioning customers.

Improving quality of life

If the Commercial Waste Zones plan is implemented, citizens of New York will benefit from reduced noise at night and lower emissions from the reduction in waste truck traffic. The plan also envisions providing every customer with recycling and organics collection and requiring participating waste management companies to submit zero-waste plans. All of this will bring the city closer to its zero waste goals.

Contact us


Niels van Geenhuizen

Global Sustainable Solutions Leader +31 (0)6 2706 1819 Ask me a question