IMG_4841On October 7th, Council Members, environmental justice advocates, and community-based organizations rallied for waste equity legislation in advance of Intro 495 at the New York City Council. The legislation, sponsored by Progressive Members Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso, will more equitably distribute the responsibility of solid waste management throughout our city by 1) decreasing permitted capacity for waste processing in overburdened communities, and 2) capping permitted capacity for each community district to ensure that no other community will take on more than its fair share.

New York City creates 35,000 tons of garbage every day.  Under the current system, waste transfer stations are concentrated in just a few neighborhoods – North Brooklyn, Southeast Queens, and the South Bronx, which together process about three quarters of all of the city’s solid waste.  Garbage trucks needlessly travel thousands of miles throughout New York City polluting our air, clogging our streets, and damaging our roads, and impacts are greatest in the three communities. This system exposes these communities – predominately low-income communities of color – to significant health risks. Read more


Council Member Stephen Levin said, “For communities like the one I represent, there is no truth to the saying, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. North Brooklyn, the South Bronx, and Southeast Queens have been forced to bear the burden of the majority of the city’s waste for too long and have only suffered its consequences. This bill will promote a more equitable waste system in New York City and will ensure that no community becomes the next North Brooklyn, South Bronx, or Southeast Queens. I am proud to sponsor this legislation and to fight for a more equitable New York City with my colleagues in the City Council.”

Council Member Antonio Reynoso said, “My community in North Brooklyn, and other communities of color in Southeast Queens and the South Bronx, have been suffering the effects of high concentrations of waste transfer stations for too long.  Our children have asthma and other associated health problems, and our streets are dangerous and in disrepair.  But this isn’t just about ‘not in my backyard.’  As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, I support this bill as a major step toward promoting the City’s Solid Waste Management Plan and as a demonstration of the City’s commitment to borough equity for processing waste.”

“Here in Southeast Queens, as in parts of North Brooklyn and the South Bronx, we have been disproportionally impacted by poor waste management policies. This legislation provides an opportunity to bring justice to this unjust situation and to clean up our communities,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “I look forward to working on this bill as it moves through the Council and thank Council Members Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso for their leadership on this important issue.”


Metro NY: Community groups, council members call for waste equity in outer boroughs

Capital NY: Council Proposal would Alter Trash Distribution

National Resource Defense Capital: Time for Trash Equity in New York City


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