We’re gaining momentum…Nearly 17,000 New Yorkers have now pledged to support only politicians who publicly state their opposition to garbage dumps in any residential neighborhood. New York City Mayoral candidates Sal Albanese, John Catsimatidis, Joe Lhota, George McDonald, Bill Thompson, and Anthony Weiner; State Assemblyman Micah Kellner; State Senator Liz Krueger; New York City Councilmembers Robert Jackson, Jessica Lappin and Dan Garodnick; and City Council Candidate Ben Kallos also have publicly announced their opposition to the dangerous and misguided East 91st Street MTS (marine transfer station).

Here are 10 reasons to sign the Pledge 2 Protect:

#1: Garbage and people are like oil and water. Major waste facilities do not belong in ANY residential neighborhood anywhere in the city. Placing sanitation facilities near homes, schools, and fitness and recreational facilities is wrong and dangerous.

School buses lining up outside Asphalt Green's playing fields

School buses lined up outside Asphalt Green’s playing fields

#2: The shoe doesn’t fit. East 91st Street is a residential, not industrial area. The proposed East 91st Street MTS is located in an area with six times as many residents, three times as many minorities and the only significant public housing population as compared to any other proposed MTS site. There are 22,000 residents living within a ¼-mile of the dump and 11 day cares and 16 schools nearby. There are two senior centers in close proximity to the site.

Stanley Isaacs senior center

Talking with seniors at the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center

#3: A massive garbage facility in Flood Zone A is Not A-ok. East 91st Street at the FDR Drive is located in Flood Zone A, the highest risk zone. During Super Storm Sandy, water from the East River flooded the FDR Drive, East End Avenue, and damaged Asphalt Green. Just picture a future  MTS displacing residents due to hazardous commercial garbage flooding — up to 5,280 tons of it — into the neighborhood and waterways during future storms. Besides the deadly toxins that could be released, there could be fires or explosions. Now that is scary.

Hurricane Sandy flooding in 2012 by Asphalt Green and East 91 St MTS location

Super Storm Sandy flooding between Asphalt Green and E 91 St MTS

#4: The only garbage truck a child should come into contact with is a toy truck. Garbage trucks have the highest pedestrian kill rate of any vehicle on the road; commercial garbage trucks 5x so. If this garbage dump is built at East 91st Street, up to 500 garbage trucks would use the dump’s entrance ramp daily, which cuts through a playground for children under age five and Asphalt Green’s recreational playing field. Over 31,000 children from all over the city use Asphalt Green. Those people most in danger of getting hit by garbage trucks are children, seniors, and the disabled. Asphalt Green has programs specific to each of these groups on this campus.

This ramp bisects Asphalt Green's aqua center and playing field. Immediately to the left of the ramp is a child's playground.

This MTS ramp bisects Asphalt Green’s aqua center and playing fields

#5: Toxic fumes and dangerous decibel levels = a bad prescription for healthy kids. If this massive 10-story 2-acre garbage facility is built, 6 days a week, 24 hours a day, idling trucks will line up next to a playground, releasing vehicular diesel exhaust emissions, classified by the World Health Organization as carcinogenic. The people most susceptible to this particulate matter are children. Their lungs are still in development and they are physically low to the ground.  Mobile municipal waste would expose children to hazardous air pollutants that contribute to asthma, as well as dangerous noise levels. According to the National Organization for Hearing Research Foundation, “the number one cause of preventable hearing loss is loud noise.”

children playing football at Asphalt Green

Children playing football at Asphalt Green. Photo courtesy of Asphalt Green.

children playing soccer at Asphalt Green

Children playing soccer at Asphalt Green. Photo courtesy of Asphalt Green.

#6: We smell a rat. The steady supply of garbage will attract rodents and other vermin which can spread disease, overtake open spaces, and infest neighboring homes and businesses.

#7: Rush hour is bad enough; all-day gridlock would bring the city to a halt. Emergency responders from all over the city — from Harlem to Union Square — will be compromised due to increased traffic congestion caused by the hundreds of garbage trucks making their way to East 91st Street. Reaching the many hospitals on the East Side of Manhattan will become problematic as will the movement of fire engines and police vehicles; the response time to assist people in need will become greater, putting people’s lives in jeopardy.

line of garbage trucks

#8: We’re seeing red about this anti-green plan. This garbage plan flies in the face of the city’s efforts to green the city and increase parkland. We don’t want to go backwards.

#9: What’s the exit strategy? The planned facility at East 91st Street would handle not just residential, but also commercial trash, which contains hazardous, toxic and potentially explosive materials. For example, commercial trash can include radioactive waste, asbestos-containing waste, and other toxins. If there were to be an explosion at the MTS, millions of New Yorkers could find it difficult to leave Manhattan via the nearby entrance to the FDR drive.

#10: We can’t afford it. According to New York Press, “the cost of the project has slowly escalated, from an original 30 million-dollar estimate, to $180 million. An independent budget office, however, calculated earlier this year that the actual cost of the project would be closer to $245 million, and might grow even larger.”  This is not acceptable in a time when funds are being cut for education, after-school programs, libraries and other vital public services.

The city’s plan is reckless. It is dangerous and potentially deadly.

Take 10 seconds and sign the pledge.

Take 10 minutes: Think about who you know who would care about this issue, and forward this list to them.

Every pledge counts.

Sign the pledge today.