On December 24th, the New York Times Metro section featured an article about neighborhood outrage at an NYC Department of Sanitation Waste Transfer Station located on the water in East Williamsburg. Complaints about a never-ending rumble of trucks, smells, and rats have led to a campaign to close the Transfer Station. Hidden in the article was a statement that only one of the four waste transfer stations proposed by former Mayor Mike Bloomberg in 2004 was still operational. “[T]he others have been delayed by years of court battles and community opposition.” But, the article quotes Kathryn Garcia, Sanitation Commissioner, who stated that all new waste transfer stations would be built by 2018.
One of those waste transfer stations would be located on the Gansevoort Peninsula, across from West 13th Street. It would face both the water park on the Horatio Pier, and the new island at Pier 55 being built by Barry Diller. The smell will drift south to the playground and the sound of sanitation trucks will be heard by those attending performances on “Diller Island.” We weren’t able to stop this waste station in 2006 because our then-City Council Member, Christine Quinn, supported the plan. We need to organize to have Corey Johnson weigh in—and help stop it. An alternative, in which trash could be removed from the west side by rail, was never seriously considered by Bloomberg. We need to visit that option again with Mayor de Blasio.
—Arthur Z. Schwartz