Magdalena Waz


Have you ever found yourself gagging as you cross Flushing Avenue and head northwest into East Williamsburg on a hot summer day? You’re not alone, and you’re not imagining it. Currently, North Brooklyn is home to a disproportionate amount of the city’s trash. But the neighborhood’s stinky problem may be getting a little better next year as the city finally plans to store mountains of the city’s waste in Gowanus instead.

The new facility, as Patch initially reported, will be located by the water at 500 Hamilton Ave. making it possible for trash to be stored in the place where it gets loaded onto barges headed for New Jersey and then other landfills and processing centers far away from us.

Currently, North Brooklyn contains facilities that store trash from the whole city before it is transported back to the waterfront for its next journey. The last time Bushwick Daily compiled statistics on this pervasive problem, 16 North Brooklyn waste facilities received approximately 40% of New York City’s garbage.

Using one storage facility for trash immediately after it is collected instead of shuttling trash from place to place will cut down on truck traffic and rid us of at least a few hundred tons of rotting waste a day.

The Department of Sanitation estimates that “full implementation of the plan will reduce annual truck travel by more than 60 million miles, including more than 5 million miles in and around New York City, and will cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste transport by more [than] 34,000 tons annually.”

Council Member Antonio Reynoso added, “This will reduce air pollution, make streets safer, and bring us closer to a more equitable waste system.”

The Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer Station, as it is euphemistically called, is currently scheduled to open in Fall 2017, so unfortunately, we may still have to hold our noses this summer as we walk to the Morgan L. And of course, the best way to cut down on the trash smell is to stop producing so much of it!

Photo by Timothy Krause, used under Creative Commons License.