New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Edward Grayson as the acting commissioner of the New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY) on Sept. 18. Grayson, currently the director of DSNY’s Bureau of Cleaning and Collection, began his DSNY career in 1999.
The appointment comes after Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia resigned after 14 years in the position, citing layoffs and budget cuts to the sanitation department as reasons for her departure. Garcia also stated the possibility of her running for mayor of NYC presented a conflict of interest while employed in her former role.
“Edward Grayson is the kind of experienced, steady hand New York’s strongest need to lead the department through this transitional period,” de Blasio says. “I’m grateful for his service, and I look forward to working with him to give New Yorkers the safe, livable communities they deserve.”
"Edward Grayson has devoted his career to making New Yorker City a safer and cleaner place for all New Yorkers, and I am looking forward to working with him in his new role," NYC Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin says. "I also want to thank both outgoing Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and First Deputy Commissioner Steven Costas for their years of dedicated public service. Their tireless work made this city a better place to live."
"When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a sanitation worker, because my dad was one,” Grayson says. “Every single member of this department is someone's family, but during these unprecedented times, we are each other's family, too, and I promise to never forget that. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for the confidence he has placed in me, and Commissioner Garcia for the example she has set of competent, forward-looking leadership and commitment to sustainability—a commitment DSNY will not abandon."
Grayson is a 21-year veteran of the Department of Sanitation, most recently appointed four-star chief and director of the Bureau of Cleaning and Collection in September 2017. Grayson has held a range of positions throughout the department.
As director of the Bureau of Cleaning and Collection, Grayson oversees day-to-day operations for DSNY, including the collection, recycling and disposal of more than 12,000 tons of waste per day and efforts to keep the city's communities healthy, safe and clean. He has implemented new technologies to improve snow removal and reform front-line operations, and he has been a leader in the department's implementation of the city's aggressive zero-waste goals, according to a release from the mayor’s office.