N.Y. residents oppose trash facility

July 1, 2011 at 8:08 PM
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NEW YORK, July 1 (UPI) -- Residents of public housing on the Upper East Side of Manhattan say they oppose city plans to reactivate a waste transfer station in their neighborhood.

In lawsuits and lobbying efforts in the New York State Assembly, they argue that economically disadvantaged residents, already struggling, should not be saddled with additional problems of noise and pollution created by waste disposal activities, The New York Times reported Thursday.

"I have nightmares just thinking that there's a possibility that they might come back," said Larraine Johnson of the garbage trucks that used to line up near her housing project to unload trash at a marine sanitation station on the East River. She said they were noisy, dirty and smelled "like dead bodies."

City officials counter that the presence of a housing project does not automatically make a community disadvantaged, noting that the Upper East Side is one of the city's wealthiest communities.

The sanitation plan is meant to redress the disproportionate number of waste stations in poorer neighborhoods, they say, explaining that Manhattan currently has no waste facilities.

The neighborhood around the proposed East River transfer has about 47,000 residents with a reported median household income of $91,000.

"It shows that they generally don't build this sort of facility in high-income areas," said Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociologist at Queens College said. "Certain neighborhoods have certainly gotten more than their share."

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