Waste and Falsification in the Bureau of Sanitation

Between May and September 2008, OIG conducted an investigation of the City’s garbage truck crews in ten wards to determine whether the crews were actually working while they were on the clock. OIG conducted such an extensive investigation because prior OIG investigations into similar allegations appeared to show that there was a widespread problem in the Bureau of Sanitation regarding the waste of taxpayer funds. Starting in May 2008, a team of OIG investigators spent one week in each of the ten wards conducting surveillance from the beginning to the end of the crews’ shifts. The ten wards were spread out among all parts of the City and among the five Divisions in the Bureau of Sanitation. Overall, the investigators observed 222 workers -77 garbage truck drivers and 145 laborers -to determine if they were working a full day. The investigators found a remarkably consistent pattern throughout all the wards. Although the crews were well paid to work eight full hours a day, on average they only worked less than six hours a day. Thus, for more than two hours each day, the City’s garbage truck crews were paid but did nothing.