Last Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Grayson as the commissioner of the Department of Sanitation (DSNY). The 21-year agency veteran had served as acting commissioner since September.
“He has brought energy, experience and passion for the agency’s mission to his role, and he has earned New Yorkers’ trust to keep our city clean and safe,” de Blasio said. “I’m proud to offer him this role on a permanent basis, and I look forward to working closely with him to build a fairer and better city.”
Grayson, who grew up in Ridgewood, comes from a family with a deep background within the department. His father was a sanitation worker and supervisor, while his mother was a recycling outreach coordinator during the 1990s, when the city rolled out its citywide recycling program.
“Growing up in Ridgewood, everyone in my neighborhood had a plan for how they’d someday serve the people of New York, as so many of our parents did, including my own,” Grayson said. “As a sanitation worker, supervisor, superintendent and chief, I’ve been proud to do just that for the last 21 years.”
Before serving as acting commissioner, Grayson was appointed a four-star chief and director of the Bureau of Cleaning and Collection in 2017. In this role, he oversaw day-to-day operations for the department, including the recycling and disposal of more than 12,000 tons of waste per day.
He also implemented new technology to improve snow removal and frontline operations. According to the city, Grayson was a leader in DSNY’s implementation of the city’s zero-waste goals.
Grayson served as operations chief, overseeing snow removal during the 2016 blizzard, which was the city’s largest snowstorm.
He takes over as DSNY commissioner for Kathryn Garcia, who served in the position from the beginning of the de Blasio administration in 2014. She departed from the position in September and is now running for mayor.
“As we have seen in these few short months since stepping in as acting commissioner, Ed Grayson has the experience and dedication needed to lead New York’s Strongest,” Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin said. “Coming from a working-class family dedicated to public service, Ed knows the true meaning and dignity of serving this city.”