New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York Daily News City pols seek to strip license from sanitation company after its driver killed two people by Cerin Durkin

City pols seek to strip license from sanitation company after its driver killed two people

City Council members are demanding the city yank the license of a sanitation company whose driver killed two people in the Bronx and lied to cops about it.

Councilman Antonio Reynoso and other pols stood outside the city Business Integrity Commission's office Wednesday to push for the shutdown of Sanitation Salvage, one of the city's largest private trash haulers.

"How is it that the same company, the same driver can be responsible for two fatalities in a six-month span, lie about it, and continue to operate here in the city of New York?" said Reynoso (D-Brooklyn), chairman of the sanitation committee. The commission "has failed in its responsibility to regulate this industry and protect the public."

In November, a driver for Sanitation Salvage fatally struck co-worker Mouctar Diallo, who was working off the books helping collect trash along the route. But the driver falsely told cops the dead man was a crazed homeless person who had jumped on his truck, and was allowed to continue driving.

On April 27, the same garbage truck driver, Sean Spence, hit and killed pedestrian Leon Clark. The driver has now been suspended.

City Council members including City Council Member Ben Kallos (c.) rally outside the city Business Integrity Commission’s office Wednesday to put Sanitation Salvage out of business. (Susan Watts/New York Daily News)

"This company is going to continue to play games until somebody drops a hammer on them," said Sean Campbell, president of Teamsters Local 813.

Reynoso (photo) said the company operates on a reckless business model, scheduling routes with over 1,000 stops — which would require drivers to make more than two stops a minute if working an eight-hour shift.

The Business Integrity Commission, tasked with rooting out organized crime influence in the private waste industry, has the power to revoke a company's license if it's found to lack honesty and integrity. But the group believes the move would not hold up to a legal challenge if done without sufficient supporting evidence.

They may move to yank the license in the coming months after an investigation, officials said.


"If this investigation finds that Sanitation Salvage should no longer be operating on our streets, BIC can initiate the process to revoke the company's license," said the panel's commissioner, Daniel Brownell.

The private waste pickup industry has been at the center of a series of controversies around its treatment of workers, safety standards and environmental practices. The city is pursuing a plan that would divide the city into zones and pick contractors to handle business trash in each zone. Businesses are resisting the initiative.



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