YORKVILLE — Dozens of children marched from Asphalt Green to Gracie Mansion on Thursday to deliver about 1,000 letters begging Mayor Michael Bloomberg to nix the controversial waste transfer station planned for East 91st Street.
The children — who chanted "dump the dump" — were the latest to protest the $240 million Marine Transfer Station, which opponents fear will cause pollution, attract vermin and bring unwanted truck traffic to the neighborhood.
The march came a day after the city comptroller's office listed the construction contract as "registered" — meaning it's officially in effect and that the city can go forward with the project.
City officials have said construction will start later this month.
Thursday's protest began with several children reading their letters out loud.
Matthew Resnick, 17, who uses Asphalt Green's athletic facilities, which are right beside the site of the planned waste transfer station, said that the project had made him lose faith in elected officials.
"Today, I question the values and intentions of the city administrators," Resnick read from his letter. "How they continue to justify this is beyond me."
Kiara Gomez, 9, expressed similar concerns in her letter to Bloomberg.
"No child would ever want to play near a dump," said Kiara, who participates in a free after-school program offered by the facility.
Asphalt Green Executive Director Carol Tweedy, who moderated the speakers before the march, reiterated the health and environmental concerns about the station.
She added that Hurricane Sandy showed the facility should not be built along the East River at 91st Street.
"It's simply irresponsible to build a dump in flood zone A," she said.
A Gracie Mansion staffer accepted the delivery of letters and thanked the children.
In November, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin and Assemblyman Micah Kellner filed the first federal lawsuits to halt construction on the facility — though Bloomberg has vowed that the project would begin by the end of the year.