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Islip Commends Signing of “Slow Down To Get Around” Legislation Into Law

supervisor carpenter councilman flotteron with sanitation employees and vehicles

Islip- November 30, 2016 – Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter joined with the NY state chapter of the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) and industry companies to applaud New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing Slow Down To Get Around legislation into law earlier this month.

This important legislation will now require motorists to slow down around waste and recycling trucks when actively engaged in making collections when safety lights are flashing. The new law will become effective in November 2017. Motorists will then be accountable for endangering workers' lives when unsafely speeding by waste and recycling workers doing their jobs. NWRA has been advocating in states across the country for Slow Down to Get Around laws. The association's NY state chapter worked with committed legislators and a broad coalition of industry companies, labor groups and municipal leaders in getting this important worker safety measure finally on the books.

“These hardworking and dedicated individuals operate over 40 trucks daily, servicing more than 80,000 properties along 1,200 miles of roadway in the Town of Islip. They are on the street and on their feet during the busiest hours of the day, including the morning rush. We are committed to ensuring their safety each and every day,” said Supervisor Angie Carpenter.

“Our sanitation crews perform one of the toughest jobs in the Town, and their work has a direct impact on the quality of life of our residents. We ask that our residents, in turn, be mindful of the safety of our employees when sharing the roadway,” said Islip DEC Commissioner Jim Heil.

"This law is about the safety of waste and recycling collectors who serve our communities statewide," said NWRA NY State Chapter Manager Steve Changaris. "This will save lives and prevent untold workplace injuries. Our focus now turns to raising awareness and educating New Yorkers of the dangers collectors face daily, and to encourage motorists take extra caution around our vehicles," he added.

"When we send our team out on the road each day their safe return is our top priority. I applaud the State of New York for passing this law and Supervisor Carpenter for bringing awareness to this important issue," said Stanley Lomangino, Managing Partner, Maggio Environmental.

"We urge residents when they see a sanitation truck from municipalities and private companies working, to please use caution and move over. The driver’s families thank you,” said Patti W. Hamilton, Director of Communications, Maggio Environmental.

State Senator Carl Marcellino (R) 5th Senate District and State Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D) 34th Assembly District sponsored the worker safety legislation that has led to this new law.

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the waste and recycling industry is the fifth most dangerous profession in America in terms of fatalities and injuries. New York now becomes the 12th state to create a Slow Down to Get Around law. The eleven other states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia. NWRA encourages all motorists to be aware of the roadside danger facing refuse collectors and to exercise caution around our vehicles at all times beginning now -- even before this law is officially effective in November 2017. NWRA is now asking the media, public safety agencies and community leaders to help raise awareness about collection worker safety and NYs new slow down to get around law in the meantime.

A 2014 Harris poll commissioned by NWRA found that although most Americans encounter garbage trucks on the road each week, only one third of people slow down near them while nearly 40 percent are actually tempted to speed around them.  However, the same survey also found the public supports Slow Down to Get Around laws once they learned of the high fatality, accident and injury rates of waste and recycling collection workers.

ABOUT NWRA

The National Waste and Recycling Association is the leading organization providing leadership, advocacy, research, education and safety expertise for the waste and recycling industries. NWRA advocates at the federal, state and local levels on all issues of importance to our member companies as they provide safe, economically sustainable and environmentally sound services to communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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