DSNY publishes 2019 Strategic Plan Update

DSNY publishes 2019 Strategic Plan Update

The plan is a blueprint to fortify and enhance the department’s waste services.


The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has published its 2019 Strategic Plan Update, three years after the release of the department’s first-ever strategic plan. The plan is a blueprint to fortify the department’s services, enhance employee and public safety, modernize the department’s fleet and facilities, develop its workforce and help lead New Yorkers on the city’s mission to send zero waste to landfills.  

“Over the last year, we have reached milestones that have been many years in the making,” New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia says in the report. “The city’s ban on foam products and the statewide effort to ban plastic bags will finally eradicate two harmful and unnecessary products from our waste stream. The implementation of the Waste Equity law and the opening of the city’s final two marine transfer stations represent significant progress on completion of the Solid Waste Management Plan. The newest initiative we have committed to in this year’s progress update—to implement a commercial waste zone system—will complement these successes.”

Highlights of the 2019 strategic plan update, which covers fiscal year 2019, include:

  • The department launched a new outreach campaign, “Make Compost, Not Trash,” focused on facilitating behavior change at the neighborhood and community level to help increase participation in the city’s curbside organics collection programs.
  • The department added more than 600 apartment buildings to its curbside organics program and increased the number of food scrap drop-off sites to 165, up from 113 last June.
  • The department collaborated with the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board, and Pratt Industries to launch the Manhattan Paper Challenge, which tasked community boards with increasing their paper recycling rates to win financial awards.
  • The department grew participation in the ecycleNYC electronics recycling program by nearly 1,000 buildings. The program now serves 35 percent of the city’s 10-plus unit buildings. The department also expanded curbside e-waste collection service to include all of Brooklyn and western Queens.
  • The department collected nearly 5 million pounds of textiles in the refashionNYC textile recycling program.
  • In May, the department launched a new food donation portal as part of the DonateNYC reuse and donation platform to facilitate connections for local food donations.
  • The department completed the final two conversions of the city’s marine transfer stations, an implementation milestone of the Solid Waste Management Plan for managing the city’s waste and recycling.
  • The department fully implemented turn-by-turn routing technology in its snow fleet and more than doubled the number of paperless field locations with the implementation of its SMART 3.0 personnel and equipment scheduling system.
  • The department welcomed its first chief supplier diversity officer, allowing for more centralized efforts to increase opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises in agency contracts.
  • The department appointed a chief learning officer, a dedicated office for the design and implementation of professional development programs for all employees.

Originally, the Department of Sanitation committed to 12 goals and 46 corresponding initiatives to guide its work. In June 2018, four additional initiatives were added to build on successes and redouble efforts to achieve long-term goals. This year, the department has introduced one new initiative. To date, the department has now achieved 27 initiatives—up from 21 at this time last year. An additional 17 initiatives have been partially achieved, and five others are underway.

This year, the department has added a new initiative – to implement a commercial waste zone system in an effort to lead to safer and more efficient collection that provides high-quality, low-cost service, while furthering the city’s zero waste goals.

The 2019 Strategic Plan Update, 2018 Strategic Plan Update, the 2017 Strategic Plan Update and the 2016 Strategic Plan are available online.