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Building Congress lauded for waste plan support.

In late August, the City Council voted to pass the comprehensive solid waste disposal plan backed by Mayor Dinkins and City Council speaker Peter Vallone. Twenty-four hours after the vote, Mayor David Dinkins called Building Congress President Louis J. Coletti and Edward J. Malloy, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, and congratulated the design and construction community -- both business and organized labor -- for the strong role it played in helping to win the Council's approval.

Coletti and Malloy, who also is vice chairman of the Building Congress, participated in the early September City Hall ceremony at which Mayor Dinkins signed the landmark waste disposal legislation into law.

The plan for handling the city's daily production of 28,000 tons of garbage includes development of New York City's first state-of-the-art trash-to-energy plant in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, as well as recycling, waste prevention and landfilling programs. It was approved by the Council by a 36 to 15 vote. At the beginning of the summer a majority of the Council -- 34 of the 51 would oppose any waste disposal program that included a new incinerator. Building Congress officials from business and labor are credited with playing a major role in helping to turn-around the Council vote on the waste disposal plan.

In supporting the program, the Building Congress had organized a coalition of New York construction, business and union leaders who spoke out for the program at public hearings and at private meetings and telephone conversations with government officials. The Congress also launched a strong, positive public relations campaign to insure that the industry's points of view were made available to the public via the electronic, and consumer and trade print media. There was widespread coverage in the daily and weekly papers, television and radio. These included The New York Times, The Daily News, Crain's New York Business, Newsday, and The Post. The Congress also bought space on Times's Op-Ed page for an advertisement supporting the city's waste disposal plan, and the plan was backed in editorials in all the city's daily newspapers.

The Congress funded an independently conducted survey to determine the public's attitudes on waste disposal. The survey showed that a majority of New Yorkers, 54 percent, prefer a combined solution to the city's trash problem, including recycling, trash-to-energy plants and landfilling.

The coalition organized by the Congress included the Association for a Better New York, the New York Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Real Estate Board of New York, the Downtown Lower Manhattan Association, the Building and Construction Trades Council and spokesmen for several union locals.

In his telephone call, the major cited the Building Congress' success during the past year in coordinating the industry's support for the waste disposal plan, and Congress spokesmen assured Dinkins that the design and construction community they represent will continue to support the city's program for waste disposal. However, they urged the Mayor to accelerate the start of the trash-to-energy facility, noting the 50 percent unemployment rate in the building trades and the need to put the industry back to work.

Construction of the $550 million trash-to-energy plant, will provide jobs for an estimated 1,000 design and construction professionals, and skilled and unskilled building trades workers during the 32 months it will take to build the facility.
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Title Annotation:New York, New York Mayor David N. Dinkins praises construction associations for garnering City Council support for solid waste disposal plan
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Sep 30, 1992
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