Make NY's Trash Basket Great Again
NEW YORK, NY — July 19, 2018
The New York City Council has enacted legislation limiting the amount of trash that can be sent to overburdened neighborhoods that are home to a majority of privately-owned, environmentally troublesome waste transfer stations in the nation’s largest city.
Today, 26 of these privately-owned waste transfer stations are located in just three areas — north Brooklyn, the South Bronx and southeast Queens. There are 38 in total.
The waste stations are significant sources of truck traffic and air and noise pollution, injurious to the quality and health of life for tens of thousands of nearby residents.
The new bill would cut the permitted capacity of waste transfer stations by 50% for North Brooklyn and 33% in both the South Bronx and southeast Queens.
Also, it will have the effect of preventing significant increases in waste-handling in these already overburdened districts.
In that regard, the Department of Sanitation announced a competition create a more practical and efficient litter basket for New York City that reduces litter and better serves both sanitation workers and the public.
Specialists are prepared to consider to all suggestions from the design community, including architects; artists; engineers; landscape architects; industrial designers, etc.
Submissions from international competitors, multidisciplinary teams, and students are also welcome.
Councilmembers Antonio Reynoso and Stephen Levin took the lead in advancing this legislation, with critical support from Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia also supported the legislation, and Mayor Bill De Blasio is expected to sign the bill.
Leading advocates — among them New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (especially Melissa Iachan and Justin Wood), the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (Eddie Bautista and Priya Mulgaonkar), and the Teamsters Local 813 (Bernadette Kelly, Alex Moore and a cast of hundreds) — have taken part in drafting the law.
The history of the current bill can be traced back to 1989 when the New York City Charter was revised to include a “fair share” provision. The idea was that environmentally burdensome facilities should be more equally distributed across the city, rather than concentrated in politically less powerful neighborhoods, which were often communities of color.