Today, Wednesday, July 9th, there was a horrific accident at this construction site that injured an Asphalt Green staffer and could have been much worse. We are outraged that the City is continuing work at the East 91st Street MTS location while discussions over the future of this site, the position of the ramp and even the very need for new garbage stations are ongoing.

At street level, a backhoe inappropriately carrying a man-hole drum was thrown off balance and dropped the man-hole drum propelling a jackhammer chisel approximately 55 feet into the air through a 4th floor double-paned thermal safety glass window at the Asphalt Green Aqua Center almost impaling a worker. She was immediately taken to the hospital for treatment. Had the chisel been propelled in the other direction, it could have caused serious injury or even death for one of the 500 summer day camp children playing on the Asphalt Green field this morning.

It is a question of WHEN, not IF.
This accident confirms what Pledge 2 Protect (P2P) has been saying all along: an industrial facility like this MTS does not belong in ANY residential neighborhood, especially next to where children play. It is not a question of IF a serious accident will happen but WHEN it will happen!

Enough is enough.
The City promised Asphalt Green that no construction would occur on the ramp during their Summer Camp for children. The City has since been mincing its words and work continues. The City claims the construction and the future operation is safe to the community and users of Asphalt Green. Today proves their promises and assurances are worthless – and worse, dangerous.

Anyone with common sense would (and has) easily said that the siting of this MTS is plainly and simply wrong! The City has verbally told us it cannot refute the findings and facts in our report, Talking Trash. This MTS is being implemented purely as a political symbol despite the real risks, lack of benefit and astronomical costs to taxpayers.

Let us be clear: this is not a “reopening” of the previous E. 91st Street MTS the City closed in 1999. It is a brand new and much larger facility. And by the City’s own regulations, it would not allow this MTS to ever be built, yet it is ignoring its own regulations and construction continues. This facility will not relieve the burdens from other waste facilities in other parts of the City. Moreover, it will bring new health and safety harms to a new group of New Yorkers.

In a letter today to Mayor de Blasio, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney wrote: “My colleagues in government and I, as well as Asphalt Green and the community at large, have expressed concerns about the safety of this project from the beginning. Today, sadly, we have proof that this project is NOT safe. It does not belong in a densely residential community – and we have very good reason to believe that this accident is just a foreshadowing of what is to come. I hope the City will take advantage of the chance to take a step back and reconsider before a real tragedy occurs”.

Call the Mayor at (212) 788-6688 and let him know you agree with Congresswoman Maloney. Enough is enough! Stop the E. 91st Street MTS before a real tragedy occurs.
Please see below for details on other calls you can make.

Our dialog with the City
P2P and other coalition partners have been in a dialog with the City for many weeks to address community concerns. Yesterday was yet another disappointing day as we met with Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia: the City demonstrated in the discussions that costs are more important than addressing community concerns about the health and safety of children at Asphalt Green, the community and New Yorkers throughout the City.

What will we do?
P2P will continue to educate New Yorkers about the health and safety dangers imposed on this City by the Bloomberg SWMP. We will continue to reach out to our elected officials to explain the blatant shortcomings of the SWMP and the sites for Southwest Brooklyn MTS and East 91st MTS. We will continue TV ads as part of our efforts.

What can you do?
Call Mayor de Blasio and tell him to halt construction NOW at (212) 788-6688
Join us for a “Shut the MTS down” Rally tomorrow (Thursday) morning 6:30am in front of the ramp.
Join us at our Community Meeting tomorrow (Thursday) night at 6:30pm at the Holy Trinity Church, East 88th Street between 1st and 2nd avenues.
Donate to our campaign (including our new media campaign). Click here.

To RSVP for tomorrow’s two events, click here.

This is an outrage. The City is moving forward for political purposes only, against all facts. Enough is enough.

Kelly Nimmo-Guenther
Pledge2Protect, Inc.

Hon. Bill de Blasio, Mayor
Office of the Mayor
Phone: (212) 788-6688

Anthony Shorris, First Deputy Mayor
Office of the Mayor
Phone: (212) 788-3191

Hon. Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner
New York City Department of Sanitation
Phone: (646) 855-4974

Hon. Dr. Feniosky Pena-Mora, Commissioner
New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC)
Phone (718) 391-1000

Read the NY Post article about this accident.