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Asphalt Green Launches $89K Campaign to Protest Marine Transfer Station

By Victoria Bekiempis | July 30, 2013 2:31pm | Updated on July 30, 2013 3:27pm
 Asphalt Green has launched an $89,000 campaign to protest the much-maligned East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station.
Anti-MTS Ad Campaign
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YORKVILLE — The ad blitz has begun.

Asphalt Green, a beloved recreation complex that stands to be divided by a trash transfer station, launched an advertising campaign Monday to protest the East 91st Street project, officials there said.

The new push includes five bus shelters and 15 phone booth ads, as well as direct mailing to approximately 100,000 Upper East Side residents. These efforts will cost approximately $64,000.

The campaign will target residents from East 59th to 116th streets from Fifth Avenue to the East River, Asphalt Green officials confirmed.

Asphalt Green also released a recently commissioned study re-examining the effect of trash-truck emissions on children's health. Carol Tweedy, the organization's executive director, said 31,000 children use the facility annually.

The study, which claims diesel emissions will far exceed the city's projections and flout national air quality standards, cost some $25,000.

Tweedy said Asphalt Green organized special fundraising efforts to cover these expenses. Members of the board believe the station's potential health impacts have been overlooked amid increasingly politicized discussions of the topic — which has become a flashpoint in the mayoral race.

"Asphalt Green's issue is about the health of children. That message was just not getting through," she said. "So we made the decision, reluctantly, that we had to have our own message sent."

Tweedy said the study allowed Asphalt Green's ad claims "to be based in science" rather than barb-trading — much of which has wrongly cast the controversy as a NIMBY issue, she said.

"There's just too much rhetoric and anger," she said.

Tweedy and other opponents have long feared the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station, part of the city's sanitation plan, will wreak havoc upon the neighborhood's health and quality of life.

Proponents, however, argue that the station encourages environmental justice by more equitably distributing the borough's trash burden across class lines than in the past.

Tweedy, like other opponents, is hoping the new ads will prompt politicians to reconsider the station — and others like it across the city.

"We would hope that would allow decision makers to look at this more closely and understand the science behind it," she said. "It doesn't reduce emissions anywhere. It doesn't relieve communities that have been inflicted with garbage trucks.

"We don't believe that a dump like this should be near any children, anywhere, and to take the risk that others are experiencing and replicate it in another site is not environmental justice," she added.