Chris, joined by environmental justice advocates, calls on opponents of Upper East Side transfer station to drop lawsuit; asks opponents where they would put station instead

On the seventh anniversary of the city’s equitable Solid Waste Management Plan, Christine Quinn today called on the opponents of the East 91st Street Transfer Station to drop their lawsuit and to identify a new location for the Upper East Side station. Standing outside P.S. 132 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a school that has been impacted by constant truck traffic, Quinn was joined by City Council Member Diana Reyna as well as advocates for environmental justice. 

Seven years ago today, the City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Quinn, approved the City’s 20-year Solid Waste Management Plan with the goal of reducing the number of truck trips and miles associated with disposing the city’s waste while making the system more equitable throughout all five boroughs. Currently, 70% of the garbage handled in New York City is trucked to Jamaica, Queens, the South Bronx and North Brooklyn. This has contributed to children in Williamsburg-Bushwick being almost 70% more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than children in the rest of the city. Additionally, seniors in the same community are more than twice as likely to visit the ER for Asthma than their counterparts elsewhere in the five-boroughs. When the new fair trash plan is fully implemented, it will take tens of thousands of truck trips every year off the streets these communities, and tens of thousands more citywide helping to reverse these damaging effects.

Unfortunately, a small but powerful group of Upper East Side residents, with the support of several candidates for mayor have continued to sue to stall the plan from coming to full-fruition, yet they have not presented an alternate location for the East 91st Street transfer Station.  Quinn, Council Member Reyna and the advocates for environmental justice called on for these candidates to cease the pandering or identify an alternate location for the Upper East Side station.  

Quinn said “Those running for mayor need to stop pandering to a small number of wealthy residents of the Upper East Side of Manhattan and let this fair trash plan move forward. For too long, low-income communities in Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens have unjustly bared the brunt of our city’s waste disposal resulting in both disproportionately high truck traffic and asthma rates. The City Council stood up against environmental injustice in 2006 and we remain steadfast in our fight to fully implement this plan, and I demand my opponents do the same.”

Council Member Reyna stated, ““While the Upper Eastside fights against one marine transfer station, North Brooklyn has sixteen operating transfer stations with a combined capacity almost fifteen times larger than the proposed capacity for 91st Street,” said Council Member Diana Reyna. “The Greenpoint-Williamsburg communities will not stand with any mayoral candidate that does not support the just and equitable processing of this City’s waste.”

“We thank the Speaker Quinn for standing with communities like ours demanding the implementation of the SWMP, it is about time that all neighborhoods in the City of New York take their fair share of processing solid waste,” said Steering Committee member of OUTRAGE and chairperson for the OUTRAGE Illegal Truck Enforcement Task Force Eric Bruzaitis. “Our community is overburdened with almost 40% of New York City waste and everyday we have to deal with hundreds of trucks carrying garbage from Manhattan. it is time that everyone takes their fair share of the problem. We also call all the mayoral candidates to stand with low income communities like ours demanding equality when it comes to citing waste transfer stations in New York City.”

“As a resident of Cooper Park houses, I see everyday neighbors, especially children and seniors getting sick with asthma thanks to all the garbage trucks,” said Nilsa Roman. “Our children’s playgrounds and parks are along truck routs, our low income, Latino and African-American families need relief from truck traffic.”