There has been recent scrutiny over the way in which the DEC and Waste Management transports garbage. Residents in Middle Village and Glendale have complained of odor from the garbage trains as they pass through Queens, as well as noise throughout the day and night.
In a recent letter, DEC stated that it would increase the amount of trains and trucks that are operating from the Waste Management transfer station in Maspeth.
Opponents want the city and state to consider alternatives to the trains.
“We want DEC to reconsider the rail and talk about barging,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo. “Our waterways are underused.”
When asked if there were any negative effects to using a barge to transport waste out of the community, Addabbo said “I don't see any problems.”
“Right now community member's back yards are treated like rail yards,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, citing a variety of problems, including unnecessary noise, overwhelming odor and children complaining of asthma in the area. “Air pollution hurts our community's health.”
The issue of smell is complex because the garbage trains are crossing state lines which makes it a federal matter, according to Abbaddo.
“There is no federal regulation to seal these cars,” he said.
Waste Management released a letter, however, stating that the changes will actually result in a “net reduction of 30 truck trips per day in and out of the Review Avenue site.”
“The waste will be placed in containers, which are then sealed,” the letter goes on to state. “The containers are not transported over public streets.”