“The SWMP plan was supposed to be fully implemented last year. But it’s 2014 now and we’re still bearing the brunt of waste processing, and the trucks this brings into our neighborhood,” said OUTRAGE organizer Rolando Guzman.
Outrage Chairman Eric Bruzaitis said at the protest, “Enough is enough. We’re asking for environmental justice and the right to a better quality of life. This means distributing our City’s trash equally through SWMP.”
City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, who is the chair of the sanitation and solid waste committee, stood in support of OUTRAGE along with Council Member Steve Levin and Assemblyman Joe Lentol. He told those gathered that he is “committed to delivering” on the SWMP.
“Nearly 75% of all the waste processed in New York City is trucked to and from three specific communities: North Brooklyn, the South Bronx, and Jamaica, Queens. Every day these neighborhoods receive tons of garbage, hauled in by thousands of diesel trucks,” Reynoso said. “The high volumes of truck traffic have attributed to the high asthma rates in both Williamsburg and Greenpoint for years.”
Levin wants to see the SWMP enacted as soon as possible, and doesn’t believe it’s fair that his constituents should have to suffer the consequences of housing trash from other areas in the city.
“Our communities bear an unfair burden of trash in New York City and action needs to be taken to reduce this burden,” Levin said.
Lentol added, “This community does not mind doing its fair share to help the city in any capacity just as long as we get a fair deal. Right now, Williamsburg and Greenpoint are carrying the burden of solid waste processing for the entire city. We need a management plan now.”