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Battle Over Sanitation Garage Looming On The East Side Of Manhattan

Many Residents Say Risks Outweigh The Rewards For Base On 26th And 1st

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city says it’s a simple idea: sanitation trucks that serve the East Side should be based on the East Side. But residents there say it’s not so simple, and they’re trashing plans to build a sanitation garage in their backyard.

The M6 labeled on a garbage truck means it serves the East Side of Manhattan, but many of them don’t park there.

They park on West 29th Street, all the way over by the Hudson River.

In addition to the trucks on the West Side that serve M6 on the East Side, other trucks serving M6 are based all the way up on 215th Street, and some of them serving that district are even based in the Bronx, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.

It doesn’t make sense to the city, so the Department of Sanitation wants to build a garage on the site of a soon-to-be empty medical building at 26th Street and First Avenue, featuring 400,000 square feet with room for 150 sanitation vehicles.

Some on the East Side are all for it.

“If it would help the city, you know, you have to give to get,” said Kim Williams of Kips Bay.

But many residents of Waterside Plaza said they dread the thought of a big sanitation garage just on the other side of the FDR Drive.

“You’re right near hospitals. Just the noise level alone, ridiculous for people trying to rest in the hospital. I mean this is hospital row,” resident Steve Krauss said.

Waterside Plaza Tenants’ Association president Janet Handal said she worries about traffic, noise and fire.

Trucks need fuel, so the new garage would have tanks storing thousands of gallons of fuel and oil.

“If it’s above ground, immediately you have the risk of fire or explosion and the risk of collateral damage from concussive force,” Handal said.

The Department of Sanitation said it safely stores fuel at 59 existing garages and can do so if the proposed garage is built, but opponents insist there must be a better site to relocate the trucks.

More than 1,000 local residents have written to the Department of Sanitation, urging it to find a different site for the garage.

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