Upper East Side Residents Put Up A Stink Against Planned Garbage Transfer Station

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On any given day, New York City generates roughly 35,000 tons of garbage. But now, a plan to find a new home for some of it is generating controversy.

Hundreds came out on the Upper East Side and put up a stink about a planned garbage transfer station  near Asphalt Green Park, where kids and their parents come every day.

“I just think it doesn’t make any sense,” resident Tie Wei told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.

“It won’t be good for, you know, the community,” Karen Hannon said.

“They don’t even want to have cigarette smoking in parks nowadays, but we can have garbage all around parks?” Michelle Matyko asked.

Residents are also upset about the road garbage trucks will take to get to the station, which bisects the park and is just feet away from the soccer field.

“That’s over 9,000 trucks a week,” Patricia Rice said.

“You shouldn’t ask this of any community, so you shouldn’t ask it of these folks here,” Councilman Dan Garodnick said.

Residents said the proposed site already was a transfer station up until a until a decade ago when the area was commercial, not residential. Some don’t want a return to the past.

“And that’s why we are fighting. We have done our fair share,” Councilwoman Jessica Lappin said.

“The stench was horrific. When the wind was blowing in the wrong direction you’d have to run around and close your windows,” Suzanne Charity said.

Eddie Bautista runs the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. He argued Upper East Siders don’t deserve special treatment.

“In order for us to have a fair and just city, everybody’s got to step up to the plate. We all have skin in the game, including the Upper East Side,” Bautista said.

The city said the garbage disposal plans were approved back in 2006 and continuous challenges would not change a thing.

What Do You Think Of The Planned Garbage Transfer Station?  Share Your Thoughts In The Comments Section…

  • friend of the eastside

    I’ve lived in this neighborhood all my life and played in the asphalt plant when it closed it’s doors I’ve swam off the docks of the sanitation when it was active with barges and I’ve seen the asphalt green turn into a park and at the same time the the sanitation had their trucks dumping garbage into the barges while children played and the pollution from the stench,dust,etc. and the diesel trucks all round the field polluting the air quality are awful, All this could be avoided and sent to the bronx over the 1st ave bridge right in the train yards, it’s all commercial and it could be railroaded right out out NY That is the best place for this.

    • mike

      Sure nice answer. Send it up to us in the Bronx. We already have waste transfer stations, wastewater treatment plant, NYOFCO (plant that cooks the waste bio solids from NYC sewage plants to make fertilizer), the meat market, fish market, and now the croton filtration plant.

      I have two questions:

      Why do you feel you can continue to dump on us? Is it because we have many low income communities? Or is it because we have a high minority community base?

      Why is it ok for our children to play next to all of the facilities I just mentioned as well as another gem you wish to stick us with.

      You are a pathetic pampered group of “……….” I censored it for kids who may be reading but you get the idea. Keep you own garbage, you made it….

      • SM


        First of all, let’s begin with a few misconceptions: this garbage dump is not being planned for the Upper East Side. It’s being placed in Yorkville, on the border with East Harlem. Associated with this important fact is another one that’s not being communicated: this area has the highest recorded asthma rates in the city. But I guess it’s difficult for the kids to breathe because they’re just so pampered.

        On top of that, this dump is also being placed next to a low-income housing project. So your care for minorities seems to only apply to minorities outside of Manhattan. Do they even have a name for that kind of bias?

        Nobody is asking your kids to play next to these kinds of facilities. The very point of all this is that all industrial processes should be conducted in industrial/commercial areas where there are no residences — regardless of borough. And there are still non-residential areas still left in the city. It doesn’t matter where then trash is generated.

        Which brings me to the last point you made: “Keep you own garbage, you made it…” I guess the tit-for-tat response to this spiteful, divisive comment would be: if you come in from the outer boroughs every day to earn your income or you come in to play tourist, or see any of the many parades, be sure to bring a Hefty garbage bag with you to take back your garbage.

        That doesn’t seem like to best attitude for a single political entity, does it?

        Certainly we in Yorkville weren’t clamoring to have outer borough residents pay to drive into Manhattan when the mayor pushed hard for his congestion pricing scheme a few years back. Among the many problems with it was that fact that it was unfair to outer borough residents who need to drive. We didn’t cry about having more of your cars invade our neighborhood (helping to push up those high asthma rates).

        We are all one city. Please don’t play the “us vs. them” game that our city politicians hope that you’ll play.

      • Cassidy


        I invite you to come and take a look at the site. You will see that it is basically across the street from two low income housing complexes (80% minority). Therefore a great number of those most directly affected by this ill-conceived project will be a far cry from the “pampered group of ‘……..'” you speak of.

  • Veronica Stolt

    The MTS is dimensioned to swallow six times the amount of residential garbage generated by the UES – is Bloomberg planning to sell excess capacity to private haulers (who handle 75% of NYC trash) and make money for the City?

    It’s callous to further pollute the air for those who already breath NYC’s dirtiest air. East Harlem, six blocks away from the MTS, has the highest rates of child hospitalization for asthma in NYC.

    The proposed MTS is a public health hazard.

  • nina

    It is an absolute disgrace that this issue keeps coming down to race. No one would want a garbage dump in their residential neighborhood, white or black, rich or poor. We who are opposed to it are saying it must be put in an INDUSTRIAL area not a residential one. We are not saying give it to x neighborhood or x people, whereas those who are in support of opening it in Yorkville keep using the line “environmental justice” and are playing the race card. This heinous, commercial facility DOES NOT BELONG IN ANY RESIDENTIAL AREA. Plain and simple.

  • Kim

    “The city said the garbage disposal plans were approved back in 2006 and continuous challenges would not change a thing.” Amazing – gotta love those politicians who ignore their constituents. It may be the UES and East Harlem this time, but it will be you next! Just because this plan was approved doesn’t mean it is fair or just, and it certainly isn’t too late to change it! Plain and simple, it isn’t safe! The city is planning to knock down the existing old Transfer Station, dredge the E. River, and build a new 10 story building which will process more than 3x the amount of garbage than the old one did for 60 years. This plan would never get passed in a residential neighborhood now if the Mayor and Quinn didn’t use the “loophole” that the plant already exists (which they shouldn’t be able to use since they are knocking it down and building an entirely different Station with way more capacity). And why wouldn’t this plan get passed now without the loophole? Because it is illegal to put a new waste station (which this is) this close to a heavily-residential neighborhood, parks, schools, and public housing! And by the way – most of the garbage that will be processed at 91st St is commercial (75% of the garbage is commercial, and 30% of that is generated by people in the outer boroughs and other areas outside the city who come here to work, plus visitors to the city). The UES garbage isn’t even trucked to the outer-boroughs. This is about reverse racism and political pandering. And Mayor Bloomberg is the biggest hypocrite of them all!

  • Dale Auburn

    “It won’t be good for, you know, the community,” Karen Hannon said.

    So tell us, O Wise Lady… Which community WOULD it be good for?? If you don’t want the facility in YOUR neighborhood, then just pick another neighborhood for it. (Of course, that neighborhood would have no right of appeal.)

    • Alison Janus

      Clearly, a garbage transfer station adjacent to a not-for-profit athletic facility that serves thousands of children and multiple schools is bad for the community. No community would want this facility. Open space in the city is a treasure, and it is a shame to pollute these beautiful fields and playground.

  • Jimme

    Elitist nonsense. This garbage COMES from the upper east side and the surrounding areas, the whole purpose of the transfer station there is to move it without having to truck it around the city through poorer neighborhoods no doubt. Not to mention the fact that the pass over where the trucks will go through to reach the station is no where near the park and only across the street from one actual residential building.

    Put it in a commercial/industrial zone, WHAT commercial industrial zone, they are all being leveled and remade into residences.

    • ajc335

      Why is it elitist to protest a garbage facility that runs between fields that serve two public schools and thousands of kids through a non-profit program and a community playground?? You seem to have your facts confused, Jimme.

    • nina

      jimme – not a single statement in your comment is true. It would behoove you to know the facts before posting.

  • Cassidy

    I notice that the area Mr. Bautista is speaking from looks rather industrial and low density vs. the high density Yorkville/East Harlem neighborhood this facility is slated to inhabit.

  • trish

    This neighborhood used to be commercial and industrial. Asphalt Green took it’s name because it took an old asphalt plant and turned it into something wonderful! The old MTS sat by with nothing around it except for two housing projects!! Once the old MTS closed the neighborhood became a residential area with one of the most densely inhabited neighborhoods. It has the poorest air quality of ALL residential neighborhoods in the FIVE BOROS!! Over a 1400 trucks a day will only make the incredibly high rate of asthma in the area worse. Residential neighborhoods ANYWHERE should not suffer from this burden. The rail lines on the Westside offer a viable alternative. Freight trains are environmentally friendly and move at a more economical cost. Bloomberg/Quinn one in the same lately, wanted a stadium. Since that didn’t happen they want to do another project so they don’t want the garbage trucks to mess with their plan. The west side has many points of non residential areas that have access to the rail lines to move the garbage out.

  • George

    Put it by Bloomingdale’s. If this were Harlem everyone on the Upper East side would be OK with it. I would also consider a homeless shelter there too. Maybe a drug rehab as well. Guarantee they would object to all of the above.

    • Henry

      Oh George. Save your class rage, and think about what it really means to put a garbage transfer station next to community fields and playgrounds. You know this wouldn’t be a good idea for any neighborhood.

  • yalie

    Clearly Blomberg and Quinn have more skin in the game than they are divulging. This is most likely the solution they chose because Bloomberg wants to build part of his legacy with the development of the Hudson Rail Yards. More interestingly – Quinn recently stopped a trash dump in her new neighborhood! And why would you want a garbage dump on the Upper East Side for trash that needs to go to New Jersey? Logistically this doesn’t make sense!

    Trash bumps do not belong in ANY city residential neighborhood, never mind this is with in hundreds of feet of thousands of homes and ball playing fields.

    This all smells very fishy and most likely this deal is fishy … Maybe the trucks should line up on East 79th street in front of Bloomberg’s home? It is on the Upper East Side too.

  • Will

    I do not live near Asphalt Green, but completely sympathize with the people there. This garbage facility belongs in a commercial, not a residential area.
    We need to attract people to live in residential neighborhoods in NYC, to pay
    taxes to support government programs. If this is a high income neighborhood it is even more stupid to put it there. The high income people pay most of the taxes in this city. If we drive them away we’ll have Detroit – alot of people in need of services and no one to pay for them. THAT would be the injustice.

  • serene379

    Garbage dumps do not belong in ANY residential neighborhood in the five boroughs, including this one. Manhattan should shoulder its fair share of the waste disposal burden. However, unlike the other marine transfer stations proposed for Manhattan, this is the ONLY MTS that is sited 300 feet from public housing towers, straddles down the middle of a nationally-recognized public recreation facility, a children’s playground and a regulation-sized ball field, in a residential neighborhood with schools and thousands of children, the elderly and families, and with one of the worst air pollution indexes in the city. Under the guise of “environmental justice” our Mayor and City Council Speaker Quinn are spending $125.4 million of taxpayers’ hard-earned money at a time when the city is cutting essential services such as firehouses, teachers, social services for children and the elderly, and public libraries. Alternative, feasible commercial/industrial sites for this facility in Manhattan have been presented to the City Council and ignored. Environmental revenge is NOT environmental justice. This neighborhood already “paid its share” when the former transfer station was open for 60 years, when the area was commercial in character. Transfer stations in residential neighborhoods are “plain wrong.” It is horrifying that the Mayor and Speaker Quinn are so ready and willing to sacrifice the health and safety of thousands of residents, including children and the elderly, for their own political agendas.

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