New York City Department of Sanitation

Follow-up Review of Recycling Program: Better Controls and Increased Commitment are Needed to Ensure its Success

The prior audit, issued June 13, 1995, reported that Sanitation was not meeting its recycling tonnage requirements of Local Law 19; did not enforce the law consistently throughout the five boroughs; had inaccurate recycling statistics and did not always retain the data from which the statistics were prepared; and did not ensure that there was adequate accountability over recycled materials that it delivered to recovery vendors for processing. We made ten recommendations to enhance Sanitation's ability to meet the requirements of Local Law 19. Our most significant recommendation, that Sanitation devote sufficient resources to accomplishing Local Law 19's provisions regarding solid waste reduction and recycling, has not been implemented. Sanitation did not meet the requirements of the Law for the 12 months ending March 1996, and the FY1997 recycling budget was reduced. Recommendation 7, which related to assuring that the materials collected for recycling are managed properly, is regarded as moot by Sanitation since it has not let any new contracts to recycling vendors since our 1995 audit was issued. Six other recommendations were implemented and two were partially implemented. A-15-96