Do we really need a garbage dump on the upper east side in a residential community? I live in the neighborhood that will be directly impacted by the construction of a garbage station: the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station (MTS). According to Pledge2Protect, (a coalition of residents, businesses, organizations, educators and parents working to stop the construction of this MTS) “The East 91st St. MTS will directly affect the 22,056 residents who live within a quarter mile of the site, which is 25% more people – and over 30% more children – than all of the other six MTS combined. It is also the only MTS located near a major public housing complex.” In addition, the location for this MTS is in Flood Zone A, putting it in the highest category of risk for flooding which could result in the displacement of both residential and hazardous commercial waste into the neighborhood. Marine Transfer Stations do not belong in residential neighborhoods. They belong in industrial areas. It’s just common sense.
The photo of the demolition of the existing unused sanitation facility, above, was taken from my yoga class at Asphalt Green, a state of the art fitness facility which is right next to the proposed MTS. It is a facility that caters to young athletes from all over the city (like Lia Neal, who just brought home an Olympic medal from the London Games last summer) as well as members (like me) from the community. Getting rid of that eye-sore is a good thing. Replacing it with an MTS is a bad thing. Why not use the space instead to create a beautiful public space (similar to the 72nd Street pier on the west side)? Just imaging a plaza, overlooking the East River, with an al fresco cafe. Or maybe a couple of public tennis courts – with a bubble could go over them in the winter. A summer stage for concerts, movies under the stars, free yoga classes… the possibilities are endless. The west side has Summer on the Hudson. Why can’t the East side have something similar? Wouldn’t creating a useable public space be a much healthier project? And, I bet it would cost the city and taxpayers far less than the quarter of a billion dollars that the construction of the MTS is going to cost.
What’s your opinion? Garbage dump or park? Is there really any question?