UPPER EAST SIDE — Three protesters were arrested Tuesday morning after blocking the entrance to the construction site where the city is building a controversial trash station, police said.
The protesters — Dr. York C. Battey, Franca Gioia and Jane Foss — were part of a group of dozens of activists who gathered outside of the Marine Transfer Station site at 91st Street and York Avenue at 6:30 a.m. to demand a halt to construction.
The activists have long objected to the city building a trash facility in a residential area and next to the Asphalt Green athletic complex. They are also upset about a recent accident in which a jackhammer chisel smashed through a window at Asphalt Green and injured an employee on July 9.
Construction on the trash station's ramp, which is adjacent to Asphalt Green, has been stopped since the accident, but work on the rest of the site has continued.
“We will not be stepping aside,” said Kelly Nimmo-Guenther, president of Pledge 2 Protect, one of the organizations leading the fight against the waste facility, in a press release announcing the arrests Tuesday.
“An industrial facility does not belong in any residential neighborhood, especially next to where children play. The siting of this MTS is wrong and dangerous to New Yorkers."
Police confirmed the three arrests, but information about the charges against the protesters was not immediately available.
The city's Sanitation Department, which is in charge of the Marine Transfer Station, said in a statement that the garbage facility is part of the city's "comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan — which is guided by a commitment to fairness and borough equity — while also being responsive to air quality, traffic and pedestrian safety concerns of communities in close proximity to our marine transfer stations.
"We continue to be available to meet constructively with those communities so that we can be good neighbors," the Sanitation Department's statement continued.
Seven protesters were also arrested outside the Marine Transfer Station site last May. The anti-MTS groups said they would continue to hold protests and block the entrance to the construction site throughout this month.