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Dump the Dumps, North Brooklyn Residences Urge City Council

By Gwynne Hogan | December 4, 2015 5:36pm | Updated on December 7, 2015 9:05am
 Residents are asking the council to pass a bill to limit the amount of trash one district could take in.
Residents are asking the council to pass a bill to limit the amount of trash one district could take in.
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EAST WILLIAMSBURG — Neighbors of about a dozen waste transfer sites in East Williamsburg and Greenpoint, are calling on the City Council to revive a bill introduced last year that would limit how much trash any one community could take on.

More than 50 residents signed a letter addressed to City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito sent on Friday.

"In the summer you can't even open up your windows, you can't go out and sit on your own stoop, it stinks so much," said Luis Velazquez, 20, who's lived around the corner from a transfer station on Thames Street since he was five, and signed the petition sent to the City Council

Just over a dozen transfer stations in Community Board 1 alone process about 30 percent of all of the city's garbage, according to quarterly reports from the city's Department of Sanitation.

"People who don't live here don't realize what we go through daily," Velazquez said.

Residents rattled off lists of concerns about odor, rats, air quality, pedestrian safety and the overall effect on quality of life when living between heaps of trash, in a video made by Cleanup North Brooklyn, an organization that advocates for trash reform.

(Brooklyn Transfer from Cleanup North Brooklyn on Vimeo.)

"A constant stream of diesel garbage trucks driving through our community to dump at the many transfer stations and recycling facilities in North Brooklyn are a major source of air pollution, noise, odor, and pedestrian safety hazards here," the letter sent to Viverito reads. 

The Greenpoint-Williamsburg area has the eighth worst air quality out of the city's 59 community districts, behind highly trafficked neighborhoods like Midtown, Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen and the Upper East Side, according to a recent report released by the city's health department.

"We ask you to take every possible step to pass this bill, which will reduce the number of trucks driving through our neighborhood and will benefit our families and children," the letter reads.

The bill they're referring to was introduced to the council in October of 2014 by Stephen Levin and a handful of other council members who represent trash-burdened districts in South Bronx and Southeast Queens.