The head of the City Council’s sanitation committee focused on defunding the NYPD and saving composting — policies that appeal to the Brooklyn progressives he’s wooing in the race for borough president — instead of saving citywide trash pickup from budget cuts, his critics charge.
Antonio Reynoso held a town hall, authored an opinion article and introduced legislation to increase composting, and pushed to cut spending for cops during budget negotiations — but never advocated for basic services like daily removal of trash from curbside wastebaskets.
City streets are now littered with rotting garbage after bean counters axed $21 million from the budget. The cuts reduced the service from daily to three times a week.
“Where I’m getting the most complaints now is the baskets are not getting picked up regularly and they’re overflowing,” said Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens), whose district shares a border with Reynoso’s district.
“He dropped the ball on this one big-time,” Holden said.
A Brooklyn councilman said Reynoso abandoned his duties to advance his political career.
“As chair of the sanitation committee, his first and foremost responsibility is to fight sanitation cuts and because he’s trying to be the progressive candidate for Brooklyn borough president, he didn’t feel the need to prioritize basic garbage pickup,” the councilman said.
Another source close to the budget negotiations said Reynoso spoke “more about the NYPD than he did about sanitation” during the back-room talks.
“He did not fight to restore major cuts to sanitation that are being felt throughout the city right now,” the source added.
Reynoso called the criticism “nonsense.”
“My colleagues that decided we didn’t need to defund the police to more funding into these necessary programs and resources are responsible,” he said.
Last year Reynoso successfully fought to restore $4.2 million to the budget for 14,000 additional trash basket pickups.
“A clean environment is the basis of a community’s wellbeing; trash pickup is a common-sense solution,” he said at the time.