Hero Pilot 'Sully' Explains Why Garbage Station Near LaGuardia A Bad Idea, Too

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents are seeing red and raising a stink about a proposed Upper East Side waste transfer facility.

They say it poses a threat not only to their quality of life, but to air travel as well, CBS 2’s Don Dahler reported.

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A steady rain didn’t dampen the passions of a hundred protesters at City Hall on Tuesday.

“Dump the dump! Dump the dump!” they chanted through the droplets.

“What a ridiculous idea it is to have a garbage dump in the middle of a beautiful park, the middle of a residential neighborhood,” protester Jennifer Radner said.

The facility in question is an upgrade of one that already exists on 91st Street, next to the asphalt green play area. The city is planning to invest at least $125 million to make it able to handle 4,200 tons of garbage a day. Residents have been fighting the project for years.

“There could hardly be a worse place for a garbage facility, except, perhaps, for right next to an airport,” City Councilman Dan Garodnik said.

As a matter of fact, the 91st Street location is one of two trash transfer plants the city is planning. The other is in Queens next to LaGuardia Airport. Both face vocal opposition.

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Critics of the plants have said it’s more than “not in my backyard;” it’s more of an issue of “not in our air space.”

They have said garbage attracts birds, which are a risk to planes coming and going from LaGuardia and crossing over northern Manhattan. The man who managed to bring his plane down safely in the Hudson River after one such bird-strike agrees, and opposes both waste facilities for that reason.

“Everyone knows we have a serious bird safety issue at LaGuardia Airport,” Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger said.

But others wonder if birds around 91st Street are really a threat to jets thousands of feet overhead, or are the protesters latching onto any issue to bolster their case?

“A waste station was at this exact location for nearly 50 years until 2001 and it was wide open and there wasn’t a bird-strike issue for the waste station then,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

A counter-protest has also emerged, from a coalition of environmentalists, lawyers and neighborhood organizations, who said the 91st Street garbage facility is necessary to bring relief to overburdened communities like Bushwick and the South Bronx that have long handled the majority of waste generated by New York City.

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Do you think this dump is a good idea or more a NIMBY mindset by those in opposition? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below. …