Archive for September, 2011

Residents for Sane Trash Solutions Letter

September 24th, 2011
September 24, 2011

Dear Neighbor:

We are Residents for Sane Trash Solutions, Inc. a group of concerned area residents, businesses, and residential buildings who oppose New York City’s plan to construct a new and enlarged trash processing facility at East 91st Street and the East River.

As you may know, the City Council recently allocated $125 million to construct a new ten-story solid waste processing plant on the site of the former Marine Transfer Station, adjacent to Asphalt Green, the East River Esplanade and Carl Schurz Park. The new plant, which is larger than any existing or planned facility in the City, will operate 24 hours a day, six days a week. Trash, delivered by garbage trucks entering through the ramp which bisects the Asphalt Green athletic complex, will be processed at the facility, and then loaded on barges moored in the East River. The plant will be capable of processing 5,280 tons of garbage daily and will bring hundreds of diesel-fueled trucks (estimated from 180 to 520) into the Yorkville area each day.

(Click to view: An area map of the proposed traffic routes and a rendering of the new facility)

A trash processing facility does not belong in any residential area, let alone in this densely populated neighborhood that is home to public housing, schools, athletic facilities, and parkland. The plant will pose a risk to public health and safety and will further degrade the air quality of a neighborhood already identified by the New York Department of Health as having the worst air quality in the City.

Moreover, the expenditure of scarce taxpayer dollars on this prohibitively expensive garbage plant is scandalous. Its location on water’s edge and the expansive plans the City has for the building’s footprint make it an engineering nightmare and a budget-busting boondoggle. Originally projected to cost $55 million, that number has now risen to $125 million with reliable estimates putting it closer to $300 million. At a time when the City is cutting services and laying off teachers, this proposed waste of money makes this an issue of citywide importance, not just neighborhood concern.

As a group of volunteers, we have formed a 501(c)4 non-profit organization to fight the construction of the East 91st Street garbage dump and invite your active participation in our association. The community needs to join together to fight this planned garbage facility. We urgently need your support because the facility is in the City’s current budget. Time is of the essence. We hope that you will consider joining and become active in our organization. We also hope that you will agree to contribute funds to support our efforts, so that we will have the resources necessary to fight to preserve our neighborhood and the unique quality of life we presently enjoy in Yorkville.

Specifically, we hope to act in three areas:

  1. LOBBYING — to retain a lobbyist to contact state and local officials with respect to consideration of alternate industrial sites for a processing facility, as well as innovative technologies for waste disposal.
  2. PUBLIC RELATIONS — to educate the public and our government representatives about the risks to public health and safety arising from the location of a garbage processing plant in a densely populated residential neighborhood.
  3. LEGAL ACTION — to retain counsel to explore any claims and causes of action that can be brought in federal or state court to challenge the planned facility.

Should you have questions or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at If you wish to donate, please visit our website at to use our secure credit card facility or obtain information on making a contribution by check to support our efforts and enable us to have the resources necessary to continue this fight.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Jed Garfield
Residents for Sane Trash Solutions, Inc.
505 Park Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10022

Steering Committee (in formation):
Sandra Christie, David Eber, Elaine Friedman, Jed Garfield, Lawrence Kaye, Arthur Lutzke, David Mack, Maureen McAllister, Charles Platt, Elissa Podolsky, Louise Radin, Jennifer Ratner, Tara K. Reddi

Board of Directors (in formation):
Jed Garfield – President
Elaine Friedman – Vice President
Arthur Lutzke – Treasurer