Trash Talk on the Upper East Side
Jim Hanas July 1, 2011, 11:55 a.m.
It seems as though the Bloomberg administration is hell-bent on delivering on its promise that each neighborhood share the burden of garbage collection.
That includes Soho and the Upper East Side.
Shortly after the city purchased an old UPS parking lot on Spring Street in Soho with plans to transform it into a parking garage for garbage trucks, officials announced plans to reactivate a waste transfer station near First Avenue and 91st Street. And, predictably, Upper East Side residents aren’t happy about it.
They’re taking a slightly different approach from James Gandolfini and the other celebrities who live near the Soho site. Instead of arguing that a sanitation center would decrease property values, Upper East Siders are now saying it would unfairly burden those who live in nearby public housing.
That argument might not work, though; the city is standing its ground, pointing out that the Upper East Side is one of the city’s wealthiest areas, and they have to handle their share of trash just like the rest of us.
The New York Times cites a Queens College sociologist who analyzed census data to show that, generally, the city doesn’t build “this sort of facility in high-income areas.” What a surprise.
Most trash transfer stations are in lower-income areas, with many operating in Brooklyn and the Bronx, where populations are denser than on the Upper East Side.
Which might be why some who live on the Upper East Side are arguing that the placement of the transfer station still does not evenly distribute the trash responsibility—even though it’s on the Upper East Side (the far Upper East Side, we might add), it’s still near “economically disadvantaged” residents.