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The Northern Manhattan Environmental Justice Coalition
c/o West Harlem Environmental Action
271 West 125th Street, Suite 308
New York, New York 10027
To initiate and implement a Northern Manhattan community planning process that will result in a just and equitable plan for waste disposal in New York City.
What Is The Problem?
When it was operating the 135th Street Marine Transfer Station (MTS), the only MTS in Manhattan operating 24-hours a day, drew 93 garbage trucks per day (1 truck every 15.5 minutes) up and down narrow brownstone streets. These trucks spewed noxious diesel fumes and threatened pedestrian safety, while the MTS drew rats, flies and mosquitoes year round.
Now there is a plan to tear it down and rebuild it to take more than 3-times the waste of that for the 91st Street MTS and twice the waste of the 59th Street MTS. And, our neighborhoods could be faced with 320 trash trucks per day (1 truck every 4.5 minutes), which could lead to more truck related accidents with pedestrians and increased air pollution which would lead to higher hospital admission rates for asthma.
We Already Have More Than Our Fair Share!
The Northern Manhattan neighborhoods of East, Central and West Harlem and Washington Heights / Inwood already treat most of Manhattan’s solid waste and house one-third of New York City’s MTA diesel buses, overall the largest bus fleet in the country.
Let’s Take A Look (view full GIS map) ...
What Is the Health Impact on Our Families?
- The plan currently impacts our community-driven Harlem on the River waterfront park design.
- The North River Sewage Treatment Plant between 135th - 145th streets on the Hudson River treats all of Manhattan’s sewage north of Bank Street in Greenwich Village.
- Ward’s Island Sewage Treatment Plant (off of East Harlem) treats sewage from the Upper Eastside and the western Bronx including Riverdale.
- Six of the 8 Manhattan bus depots, over one-third of the entire city’s public bus fleet, are housed in our neighborhoods and on our streets north of 96th street.
- The 100th Street bus depot in East Harlem has just been expanded and will reopen in the Fall of 2003.
- The Mother Clara Hale bus depot in Central Harlem’s Esplanade Gardens is scheduled to expand soon.
- One of 2 Manhattan Port Authority bus terminals is located north of 96th street in Washington Heights and draws 810 diesel buses per day (nearly one every two minutes).
- Northern Manhattan host 3 sanitation diesel truck depots and 1 outdoor parking lot that also serves the Upper Eastside. The parking lot in East Harlem houses trucks filled with garbage overnight and parked beneath the windows of children with asthma.
Let Us Act Together Before It’s Too Late
- Pediatric hospitalization admission rates for asthma in Northern Manhattan neighborhoods in 2000 were the highest in Manhattan and the second highest (next to the JFK Airport area) in the city.
- Particles from diesel buses and diesel garbage trucks and pollutants emitted from sewage treatment plants can trigger asthma attacks in children, adults, and senior citizens.
- Due to high level of air pollution in Manhattan, the borough does not comply with federal Clean Air standards, according to the EPA.
- A recent Columbia University / WE ACT study shows that air pollution is causing worse birth outcomes like low birth weight and size.
- The EPA states that diesel fuel is linked to the increase of certain cancers and heart disease.
Join the Northern Manhattan Environmental Justice Coalition and its community planning process to develop and implement a just plan for garbage in Northern Manhattan and New York City.
Like other communities of color across the city, such as the South Bronx and Greenpoint-Williamsburg, we have more than our fair share of environmental burdens with few of the benefits shared by other communities. Do not let our community continue to be used as a dumping ground.
- Thoughtful, committed residents;
- Concerned businesses and institutions based in the Northern Manhattan community.
For years, the Guiliani Administration played politics with the garbage issue. Now Mayor Bloomberg proposes a plan that could dump on our neighborhoods once again. Let us show the city how to plan.
To Join The Coalition:
Contact Yolande A. Cadore via telephone at (212) 961-1000, ext. 316 or send her an e-mail to Yolande@weact.org
Current Coalition Members:
- 1580 Amsterdam HDFC
- Church of the Intercession
- Citizens for Social Justice
- City College Architectural Center
- Council Member Robert Jackson
- Dominican Women's Caucus
- Dominicans 2000, Inc.
- DONAR, Inc.
- Faith Coalition for Political Action
- General Grant Residents’ Association
- Hamilton Hts. Homeowners’ Association
- Hamilton Hts. / West Harlem CPO
- Harlem Tenants’ Council
- Justicia Ambiental Latina
- Lower Washington Heights Neighborhood Association
- Manhattan Community Planning Board #9
- Manhattanville Residents’ Association
- Morningside Heights Historic Committee
- Morningside Heights Residents’ Association
- Morningside Heights / West Harlem Sanitation Coalition
- North River Community Environmental Review Board
- Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church
- Tiemann Place Volunteers
- The Brotherhood / Sister Sol
- West 138th Street Homeowners’ Association
- West Harlem Art Fund / Harlem Heights Heritage Area Foundation
- West Harlem Coalition
- West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc.
- Westside Heights Citizens League
- Westside Heights HDFC Council