NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - New York City has purchased numerous dome-top garbage cans. Are they worth nearly a thousand dollars each when last year they were about half the price?
Council Member Ben Kallos doesn't think so. Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side, has bought the dome garbage cans since 2014 with money that is allocated to every council member from the City Council budget. The expense is part of his discretionary spending, which is money that council members can spend on whatever they feel will improve their district.
He said the trash cans are helping to keep the sidewalks clean so he wanted to buy more. But he discovered the price nearly doubled to $969 each, from $545.
The reason: the city now has a contract with a new company. The city's Department of Citywide Administrative Services handled the bidding process and explained that Kallos.
Kallos told Fox 5 that he is outraged and that the city needs to do a better job in its bidding process.
DCAS issued a statement: "The procurement policy requires a fair and competitive bidding process, and the existing contract we hold reflects the lowest possible price resulting from that process."
The company that charged $545 per trash can told the city it was losing money on each sale so it did not rebid for the new contract.
"We are breaking ground on a new East River Esplanade that was literally crumbling into the river after generations of neglect," said Council Member Ben Kallos, who advocated for the $41 million in the City's budget for this work and co-chairs the East River Esplanade Task Force with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney. "Having already secured this funding, we were able to get shovels in the ground soon after the sea wall collapse occurred here at Carl Schurz Park. This investment spans two Council Districts to fix various collapses and sinkholes between 63rd and 125th Streets. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for agreeing to provide $35 million in initial funding for the Esplanade, the Parks Department for getting these repairs started in time to address the recent collapse, and Congress Member Carolyn Maloney for prioritizing our waterfronts and her longstanding co-leadership of the East River Esplanade Task Force."
Upper East Side- NY Compost On–the-Go, is a new program from GrowNYC’s zero waste initiatives funded by the NYC Department of Sanitation. Compost On–the-Go increases access to food waste composting for New Yorkers in the Bronx and Northern Manhattan. Conveniently located near transit, drop-off sites are staffed by friendly compost coordinators ready to accept fruit and vegetable scraps as residents head out to start the day. In support of this environmentally savvy program Council Member Ben Kallos joined a team of GrowNYC volunteers and employees at the 96th Street & Lexington Ave (6 Train) station on Thursday July 20th at 10am. Residents who wish to participate in composting are encouraged to drop off acceptable items every Wednesday from 7:15 am to 10:30am. DSNY will transport collected scraps to a regional facility to be transformed into compost.
Mr. Kallos has made curbing noise one of his top priorities. He and Costa Constantinides, a councilman from Queens, are proposing legislation that targets some of the most grating sounds by requiring city noise inspectors to respond within two hours when possible to catch noisemakers in the act. Inspectors currently have no legally mandated deadlines but follow departmental guidelines for responding within a certain period of time.
How many kids grow up in the city without realizing what the night sky really looks like? But it’s not inevitable that this continue for generations to come. If only the city would tackle light pollution. The potential benefits of reducing light pollution are enormous, ranging from the pragmatic (saving energy) to the fantastic (inspiring the next Einstein).
The legislation introduced by Councilman Ben Kallos would cover stores, restaurants, office building lobbies and all other public buildings where New Yorkers now often only have the option to trash paper and plastic items that could be recycled.
Bill would Increase City’s Waste Diversion and Recycling Rates
New York, NY – In order to support the City’s Zero Waste goal by 2030 and improve the city’s dismal recycling rate, legislation introduced by Council Member Kallos would require source separation to be available in any place of public accommodation with bins for trash, recycling, and compost. Additional legislation would require New York City reach its goal of Zero Waste - diverting all waste from landfills — by 2030, regardless of the next Mayor. Both bills will be introduced on April 25th at the City Council's stated meeting.
“The city has set a goal of Zero Waste by 2030 without an Executive Order or a plan to get there. Now that the city has set a goal, it is time to put into the law. The city should be looking for ways to reduce waste we send to landfills instead of wasting hundreds of millions building marine transfer-to-landfill stations,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents a Marine Transfer Station currently under construction on the border of East Harlem. “Recycling should be a habit. New Yorkers should be able to recycle whether they are home, at work, in a park, or catching a quick bite to eat. Recycling by places that offer public accommodation can and must be better.”
New York, NY – Light pollution can harm wildlife and make it hard to stargaze let alone for New Yorkers to get a good night’s sleep. Under new legislation from Council Member Ben Kallos, street lights would be “fully shielded” to stop them from shining up into the sky or the windows of nearby residents, instead only illuminating the sidewalks and streets intended.
“New York City may be the city that ‘never sleeps’, but that shouldn’t be because of a street light outside your bedroom window. Fully shielded light fixtures will brighten up the day with fewer sleep deprived New Yorkers walking around in a bad mood,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Fully shielded light fixtures will reduce light pollution to conserve energy, protect wildlife, improve stargazing, and help New Yorkers get a good night’s sleep.”
East Side Councilman Ben Kallos is planning to introduce a bill to cut down on light pollution by mandating that the city use light-directing fixtures when replacing streetlights.
Some of the projects the Council wants to see prioritized are air conditioning in public schools, moving adolescents off Rikers Island and funding the East River Esplanade project. Council Member Ben Kallos, in whose district most of the esplanade is located, said the problem is “bigger than anyone ever thought it was.”
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Department of Sanitation and City Councilman Ben Kallos were handing out free reusable bags to help residents prepare for the implementation of a new ‘carryout bag law.’
However, the law is not without opposition.
Walking out the Fairway market on East 86th Street, Chris told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones that he likes the reusable bags, and uses them all the time. He also runs a delivery service.
City Council Member Costa Constantinides, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, and state Senator Michael Gianaris on December 9th called for an end to the use of numbers 6 and 4 fuel oil in power plants. They were joined by the Astoria Houses Tenants Association, Queensbridge Houses Tenants Association, Ravenswood Houses Tenants Association, Jacob Riis Senior Center, Urban Upbound, American Lung Association, Asthma Coalition of Queens, and WeACT.
Ending the use of Number 6 and 4 oils would help reduce emissions produced by the plants in order to meet goals set by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. They called on the power plant operators to demonstrate how they plan to comply with Local Law 38 of 2015, which requires that they phase out use of number 6 oil in plants citywide by 2020. They also called on the plant operators to phase out use of number 4 oil sooner than the scheduled 2030 phase-out. Numbers 6 and 4 oils are considered to be the dirtiest grades of oil available. They are linked to air pollutants that pose risk to public health, including particulate matter, nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide.
"Electric vehicles are now the standard for New York City's fleet," said Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operation. "Thank you to Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camillo for her partnership and responsiveness to requests for a more aggressive adoption of a fully electric fleet. Thank you Mayor de Blasio for keeping New York City at the forefront in the fight against climate change."
The New York City Council is expected to vote this afternoon on legislation that would place a five cent fee on single use plastic and paper bags—a forward-looking initiative designed to slash the seemingly endless stream of plastic litter in the nation’s largest city.
The bill would place a five cent fee on plastic and paper carryout bags dispensed at supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies. Fees collected would be retained by the retailer, but shoppers who bring their own bags with them would be exempt from all charges.
New York, NY – New York, NY— Yesterday, over 150 residents prepared for the passage of a Single-use Bag Reduction Law and for the launch of Car Free Day by picking up free reusable bags and Citi Bike Day Passes at an Earth Day Kickoff by Council Member Ben Kallos. “Each of us can do a little to do a lot to save our planet, especially in a city of 8.4 million,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Earth Day is a chance to focus on saving our planet, one bag or one trip at a time. Government must provide residents with what they need so they can minimize harm to our environment.”
NEW YORK CITY– Today, more than 150 New Yorkers joined community groups, environmental justice leaders, national environmental organizations, and local officials on the steps of City Hall to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for his commitment to power 100 percent of City operations with renewable energy and urge him to ensure that offshore wind power plays a major role in achieving that goal.
At the rally, a letter signed by over 50 diverse organizations calling for offshore wind power was delivered to the Mayor. The letter highlights the massive potential of offshore wind power to reduce pollution and spark transformative job creation in New York City and across the state. Prioritizing offshore wind power for NYC is also crucial for meeting Mayor de Blasio’s broader goal of cutting climate pollution in New York City 80 percent by 2050 and 35 percent within government operations by 2025. The letter also calls on New York State and the Federal Government to take the actions necessary to launch offshore wind power for New York.
“We don’t have enough parks in the district,” Kallos said. “We have some of the lowest numbers of parks space per capita. Any place we have park land, we need to be using it as park land for the entire community.”
According to a study done by a parks advocacy organization in 2013, Kallos’ District 5 ranked the fifth worst in the ratio of land area to parks space out of all 51 Council districts.
In the New Yorkers for Parks’ study, the district falls far short of the standards set out by the group, which call for 2.5 acres of total open space per 1,000 residents. Kallos’ district scored only 0.47 acres of open space per 1,000 residents.
The group’s study also noted that the balance between public use as a ball field and private use as tennis courts shifted in 2012 to the advantage of the courts’ operator, when it secured an additional six weeks of time that keeps the bubble in the park into June.
To combat what they deem a slow creep of private use, Kallos said he would be working with the community board by reviewing the current contract with Sutton East, making sure the contract isn’t renewed, and trying to secure city funds to revert the park into public space year-round.
“In order for this to work, we’re going to have to pay a lot of attention between now and 2017 and make sure this contract doesn’t get renewed,” Kallos said.
East side councilmember wants to meet every person in the district
Manhattan Parks Commissioner Bill Castro, Councilmember Ben Kallos, Rockefeller University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Minna Elias (on behalf of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney), and Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington celebrate the repairs to the seawall near Rockefeller University and the revitalization project of the East River Esplanade.
HSS agreed to invest in the East River Esplanade as part of a favorable land use vote held recently by the city council. The hospital will repair and maintain a two-block stretch of the esplanade and, in a partnership with Rockefeller University that’s being led by Kallos, will work with key community stakeholders to develop a master plan for the esplanade from 62nd Street to 78th Street.
Council Member Ben Kallos announced a new vision for the East River Esplanade including a new master plan and investment from public/private partnership with Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has agreed to invest in the East River Esplanade as part of a ULURP voted on by the New York City Council Thursday, that was negotiated between his Council office and HSS.