Council also votes to increase healthcare cost transparency, require programs for incarcerated transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary and intersex (TGNCNBI) New Yorkers, expand resources for LGBTQ+ and runaway homeless youth, improve access to automated external defibrillators, provide vision testing and eyeglasses to low-income individuals, and provide information about pediatric emergency care   

City Hall, NY – Today, the New York City Council passed the “Zero Waste Act,” a legislative package of zero waste legislation that will advance our city’s efforts to divert organic waste from landfills, fight climate change, and create a greener, more sustainable future for all New Yorkers. The five-bill legislative package codifies a mandatory residential curbside organics collection program, sets zero waste targets for 2030, requires annual reporting on Zero Waste efforts, creates community food scrap drop-off sites, and establishes new community recycling centers in the five boroughs. Taken together, the Zero Waste Act positions New York City as a national leader on zero waste policies, advances the City’s efforts to fight the climate crisis, and addresses the over 11,000 tons of residential waste that New Yorkers produce daily.

In addition, the Council voted on several other pieces of legislation, including bills to increase healthcare costs transparency, require programs for incarcerated transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary and intersex (TGNCNBI) New Yorkers, expand resources for LGBTQ+ and runaway homeless youth, and address other health-related issues.

“With the passage of the Zero Waste Act, the New York City Council has taken a critical step forward to achieving the sustainable future New Yorkers deserve,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Through increased access to composting and recycling sites, all New Yorkers will now be able to participate more equitably in our collective goal of diverting all recyclables and organic waste from landfills and incinerators by 2023. I thank Council Members Sandy Nurse, Shahana Hanif, and Majority Leader Keith Powers for their leadership to advance this comprehensive legislation and build the necessary infrastructure for New York City to achieve our zero waste goals.”

Advancing New York City’s Zero Waste Efforts

Introduction 244-A, sponsored by Speaker Adrienne Adams and Council Member Shahana Hanif, would establish a permanent citywide residential curbside collection program to divert organic waste. The program requires residents to separate both yard waste and organic waste, such as food scraps, for regular weekly curbside collection by the Department of Sanitation. It will be phased in, with citywide coverage by October 2024. The bill also requires the City to conduct public outreach to residents, building owners, and maintenance staff.

“As a frontline and coastal community, it is essential to our City’s long-term survival that we act to address climate change. Today, New York City takes its rightful place as a global leader in the fight against a climate catastrophe,” said Council Member Hanif. “I’m thrilled to be standing arm-in-arm with climate activists to enthusiastically celebrate the passage of our Zero Waste package. After a year of difficult negotiations and strong advocacy, we are finally ensuring that our City’s composting program is mandatory, local composting capacity is expanded, and our Zero Waste commitments are written into law. This is an incredible victory for our City.”

Introduction 274-A, sponsored by Council Member Sandy Nurse, would establish a goal of zero divertible waste for New York City by 2030. The Department of Sanitation would be required to report to the Council if this goal cannot be met.

Introduction 275-A, sponsored by Council Member Sandy Nurse, would require the Department of Sanitation to report on their efforts to increase waste diversion rates. The report must include information on specific materials and their recyclability, and efforts to recycle or reuse materials collected through public litter baskets and other sources.

“The Zero Waste Act is a major environmental justice victory for New York City and beyond,” said Council Member Sandy Nurse. “These bills are an act of solidarity with predominantly low-income and communities of color living near landfills and incinerators in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania – communities that are fighting to protect their land, air, and health – where we send our waste. After fighting for environmental justice for years as a grassroots activist, I’m proud to have led the charge in the Council for this package. New York City is doing our part, now it’s time for state legislators to do theirs and pass the Extended Producer Responsibility bill to mandate responsible and sustainable production.”

Introduction 280-B, sponsored by Majority Leader Keith Powers, would require the Department of Sanitation to establish community recycling centers in every borough, to collect materials that are not collected through regular curbside collection but that can be recycled or reused. Information about each facility would be posted online. The bill also requires the Department of Sanitation to submit reports to the Council about the usage of each site.

Introduction 281-B, sponsored by Majority Leader Powers, would require the Department of Sanitation to establish a minimum number of organic waste drop-off sites in each borough, and a minimum number citywide. Information about each drop off site would be posted online. The bill also requires the Department of Sanitation to submit reports to the Council about the usage of each site.

“Today’s vote on the Zero Waste Act is a major milestone in advancing our climate and sustainability goals,” said Majority Leader Keith Powers. “I am proud to have helped champion a comprehensive package that expands access to equitable recycling and universal composting. As recent, devastating wildfires and historic air pollution have vividly shown us, it is crucial we act now to protect our environment and create a better, greener future for us all.”

Increase Transparency of Healthcare Costs

Introduction 844-A, sponsored by Council Member Julie Menin, would establish an Office of Healthcare Accountability. This office would audit city expenditures on employee-related health care costs and make recommendations on how to lower these costs. It would also require creating a website that provides information on the costs of hospital procedures and summarizes the cost transparency of each hospital.

Resolution 512, sponsored by Council Member Julie Menin, calls on the New York State legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation to create an independent Commission to oversee hospital services pricing for the purpose of increasing access to hospital services, promoting financial stability for hospitals, and lowering healthcare costs for New Yorkers.

“The Healthcare Accountability and Consumer Protection Act will revolutionize healthcare in New York City by bringing transparency to prices and empowering New Yorkers with the information they deserve,” said Council Member Menin. “With this legislation, we will finally uncover the hidden costs and expose the price gouging that has plagued our healthcare system for far too long. We cannot allow exorbitant healthcare costs to burden our families, businesses, and city government any longer. We have seen the positive impact of price transparency measures in other states and it is time for New York City to curb excessive healthcare prices. Thank you to Speaker Adams for advancing this important legislation to a vote which will set a precedent across the nation that price transparency in the healthcare sector can be realized.”

Supporting Incarcerated Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming, Non-Binary and Intersex (TGNCNBI) New Yorkers

Introduction 831-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, would require the Department of Correction (DOC) to create a resource navigator program to help connect TGNCNBI individuals and women in custody with alternatives to incarceration, transitional and permanent housing, and reentry programs and make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council to improve diversion and reentry resources for this population.

“I’m proud to work in coalition, including with members of the TGNCNBI Task Force, to ensure women and transgender, nonbinary, and intersex individuals are treated equally in the City’s jail system, and provided services and programming that aligns with Department of Correction’s mission to care for those in its custody and support a pathway to successful community reintegration. Today we are passing important legislation to create a resource navigator program to connect women and transgender, nonbinary, and intersex individuals to alternatives to incarceration and reentry services,” said Council Member Rivera. “We must safely reduce the number of women, transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and intersex individuals in jail, especially as 70% of this population are caregivers, and incarceration has profoundly negative consequences for their children and families. At jail intake, as many as 25% of women and gender expansive people reported they were homeless before being jailed or had nowhere to go upon release. This legislation is part of a larger effort to create a more humane criminal legal system that diverts people from jail and into community-based support.”

Expanding Resources for LGBTQ+ and Runaway Homeless Youth

Introduction 976-A, sponsored by Council Member Althea Stevens, would require the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to report data on the LGBTQ homeless population.

In New York City, despite the growing population of single homeless adults, there is a lack of data on the LGBTQ+ homeless population. To ensure that this population is adequately served, this bill would direct (DHS) and (DYCD) to collect data on the LGBTQ+ population to help guide policy to adequately serve this population and ensure equity of treatment.

Introduction 977-A, sponsored by Council Member Stevens, would require drop-in centers to participate in the streamlined intake process for runaway and homeless youth (RHY) to transition into adult shelters. Previously, runaway and homeless youth who aged out or timed out of DYCD shelters would stay in assessment intake centers, run by the Department of Homeless Services, for as long as 3 weeks until a bed in a DHS facility became available. Many RHY have expressed feeling unsafe in these assessment shelters and have thus avoided the process altogether.

Currently, RHY can bypass the intake and assessment shelters at a DYCD funded transitional independent living support program or a runaway and homeless youth crisis services program. This bill would amend the current law to include DYCD funded drop-in centers as a third type of facility, expanding the ability for runaway homeless youth to participate in the streamlined intake process and further increasing access to services for RHY.

“By cultivating safe spaces in our shelters city-wide, we will be reducing the marginalization and discrimination faced by our homeless youth population,” said Council Member Stevens. “The passing of both pieces of legislation is an essential step towards creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for our LBGTQ youth experiencing homelessness in our city.”

Providing Vision Testing and Eyeglasses to Low-income Individuals

Introduction 96-A, sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan, would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to establish a program providing vision testing and eyeglasses to New Yorkers whose income falls within 250 percent of the federal poverty level. This bill would make vision testing and eyeglasses accessible to low-income populations; these vision services would otherwise be expensive or inaccessible to individuals without vision insurance.

“Access to eye care can change lives. Undetected and untreated vision problems can affect your entire life,” said Council Member Brannan. “Low-income families who can’t afford vision tests or eyeglass prescriptions not covered by insurance are disproportionately impacted. Vision problems have severe impacts on literacy as children who have a hard time reading often have vision-related learning problems that have gone undiagnosed. Vision issues can then become an obstacle to economic mobility. Elected officials have always promised people in our country one thing: a fighting chance to work hard and succeed. Making eye care accessible to all is one huge way we can and will better deliver on that promise. Basic eye care is a necessity, not a luxury. No one in New York City – or anywhere – should be too poor to see.”

Expand Access to Automated External Defibrillators

Introduction 814-A, sponsored by Council Member Shekar Krishnan, would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to issue reports on the quantities and locations of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) placed in public places.

“As we mark the end of National CPR and AED Awareness week, I’m proud to have led passage of the HEART Act, which will help more New Yorkers find AEDs to save the lives of their friends, family, and neighbors,” said Council Member Krishnan. “Heart disease is the leading cause of death in New York City, claiming hundreds of our loved ones every year. By making AEDs easily accessible across the city, we can and will prevent countless deaths from cardiac arrest.”

Introduction 975-A, sponsored by Council Member Lynn Schulman, would require DOHMH to make available on its website information on free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses available to the public in New York City, and to update such information at least once annually.

“CPR can save lives but only if New Yorkers know how to provide it in a time of crisis,” said Council Member Schulman. “Intro 975 will ensure that the city makes public any and all free CPR classes so that the average person can get the training to help in a medical crisis. I want to thank Speaker Adrienne Adams for her leadership on this bill as well as my colleagues for their support.”

Introduction 996-A, sponsored by Council Member Mercedes Narcisse, would require DOHMH to post on its website the public places in New York City where blood pressure machines are located, and provide recommendations on locations for such machines in high-need areas. DOHMH would also be required to support making at-home blood pressure machines available at no cost to the public at federally qualified health centers in 5 high-need areas in the City and post the locations of such centers on its website.

“We must work to provide New Yorkers with every available resource to combat hypertension and allow them every opportunity to know if they are at risk before it is too late,” said Council Member Narcisse. “As a former ER triage nurse, I know first-hand that we must diagnose before treating. By placing automated, self-administered blood pressure testing machines in public places we will inform New Yorkers of their blood pressure, thus providing a potentially life-saving resource to many in need.”

Providing Information about Pediatric Emergency Care

Introduction 325-A, sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan, would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to maintain a list of hospitals with emergency rooms and pediatric trauma centers in New York City. The list would be posted on DOHMH’s website and made available to the 311 customer service center. DOHMH would be required to provide the list to pediatricians practicing in the City and would also be required to mail the list to each address designated for receipt of a child’s birth certificate. Finally, DOHMH would be required to provide this list to the Department of Education and child care programs for annual distribution to parents and guardians of children enrolled in child care programs and grade 3-K through grade 8.

“Making sure parents have easily accessible information on pediatric emergency rooms just makes sense,” said Council Member Brannan. “During an emergency, parents don’t have time to do research, compare options, and find the closest and best-suited facility to treat their child on Google. I hope this information is never needed or relevant for any family but with over 30 million children visiting the ER each year in the United States, ensuring parents have easy access to information about their options will undoubtedly save lives.”

Approving Home Rule Messages

The Council voted on several home rule resolutions.


The Council voted on the following finance items:

  • Introduction 958-A sponsored by Council Members Justin Brannan and Farah Louis, which would merge the Church Avenue and Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement Districts.
  • A pre-considered resolution authorizing a discount percentage rate for early payment of property taxes.
  • A pre-considered resolution amending a previously granted tax exemption for one building in Council Member Sandy Nurse’s district.
  • A pre-considered resolution amending a previously granted tax exemption for one building in Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan’s district.
  • A package of twelve pre-considered resolutions to authorize Article XI exemptions for twenty-seven buildings in Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala’s and Council Members Kristin Richardson Jordan, Shaun Abreu, Oswald Feliz, Althea Stevens, and Rafael Salamanca’s districts.
  • A pre-considered resolution to authorize an Article XI exemption for one new building in Council Member Rafael Salamanca’s district.
  • A pre-considered resolution to authorize an Article XI exemption for one building in Council Member Marjorie Velázquez’ district.
  • A pre-considered resolution to authorize an Article XI exemption for ten buildings in Council Member Oswald Feliz’ district.
  • A pre-considered resolution to authorize an Article XI exemption for six buildings in Council Member Shaun Abreu’s district.