Frustrated by media neglect of an astonishingly lethal and freaky piece of urban planning just south of East Harlem, local residents and groups are now making videos to try and get the story out. Perhaps it’s working. Last week, the New York Times, prompted by this video, finally published an article on one element of the scandal.

Here are some facts.

Mayor de Blasio is building a garbage processing factory in Yorkville in the far northeastern corner of the Upper East Side. No, this is not the Upper East Side you have in mind. The dump will be a literal stone’s throw from 2,200 public housing residents. The plant, including a vast, ten-story high industrial structure, has a footprint comparable to that of the Empire State Building and will operate 24 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Except on Sundays, a day and night procession of 150 to 500 garbage trucks, each carrying over 10 tons of stinking garbage, will rumble through Yorkville, one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Manhattan, then turn onto a ramp that bisects an athletic facility used by 34,000 public school kids from every borough, and dump their loads right in front of public housing. The trucks will then turn around and drive back across a sidewalk necessarily used by the children, and away through a neighborhood which, I forgot to mention, is not only one of the most polluted and asthmatic in the city, but also has more schools and hospitals per square mile than any other.

This is absolutely and completely unprecedented. There is no other garbage site in the entire city that is remotely like this one.

Read Matthew Chapman’s full piece, The New York Times + Mayor de Blasio + Real Estate = Garbage, on