In Light of Zero Waste Plan, E. 91st St. MTS = White Elephant

New York, New York (May 21, 2015): At a news conference today, in front of the Tweed Courthouse, elected officials, activists and a 7 ft. tall white elephant stood together imploring Mayor de Blasio to support his Zero Waste Plan with tangible actions and to keep his promise to protect New Yorkers from the dangers of the E. 91st St. Marine Transfer Station (MTS). They demand a comprehensive plan that will protect the health and safety of New Yorkers.

The Mayor’s Zero Waste Plan calls for the City to reduce its solid waste garbage 90% by 2030. He said, “The whole notion of a society based on constantly increasing waste and then putting it into a truck or a barge or a train and sending it somewhere else . . . is outrageous and is outdated, and we’re not going to be party to it.”

Those who spoke included: Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, Congresswoman Maloney Staff Shelby Garner, Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright Staff Rebecca Graham, Kelly-Nimmo Guenther, President of Pledge 2 Protect, Sandra Perez, Holmes Towers Resident Leader and Franca Gioia, P2P Community Activist. A representative from Council Member Dan Garodnick was also in attendance.

During the conference which was attended by a crowd of supporters, Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, stated, “This Marine Transfer Station never made sense because we need to dramatically reduce our waste footprint, not invest billions in infrastructure to move even more garbage around. But if this MTS is getting built, the community around it deserves a thorough and comprehensive plan for air quality monitoring and impact mitigation. Moving the ramp is a must – but it’s only the beginning.”

Kelly Nimmo-Guenther, President of Pledge 2 Protect, stated, “Pledge 2 Protect commends the Mayor’s recently announced Zero Waste Plan. However, this plan will make the E. 91st St. MTS obsolete and burden tax payers with an expensive white elephant.

P2P is committed to our partnership with the City to help reach the newly announced recycling goals, but we ask ‘Why waste billions of taxpayer dollars to build and operate a facility that won’t be needed by 2030? Why not take meaningful steps towards reducing the amount of waste we produce by diverting much needed funds to promote sustainable waste management practices, including recycling, composting, reducing and reusing?’

If Mayor de Blasio continues to build the expensive white elephant, he must act to make it safer. Moving the ramp from E. 91st Street is a must but it is not enough. With over 400,000 children and pedestrians crossing that intersection every year, it is not ‘if’, but ‘when’ an accident will happen — possibly fatal.”

Some of the measures that the elected officials, NYCHA residents and Pledge 2 Protect have requested of the City include:
1) Conduct continuous, real-time PM2.5 monitoring at the MTS site.
2) Immediately shut down the garbage station whenever pollution hits dangerous levels.
3) Require all garbage trucks, not just City owned, using the dump to use state-of-the-art pollution controls and safety features.
4) Conduct a traffic and safety study to determine safest truck routes and signal timing.
5) Create noise and air pollution barriers using tree plantings and other substances, along with air filters to protect NYCHA residents and others from the air and noise pollution.
6) Assign full-time traffic officers to dangerous intersections, and confirm at which intersections this will take place.

Should the Mayor continue to build the E. 91st St. MTS, the attendees of the conference urged him to do everything possible to save and protect lives with a comprehensive health and safety plan.

For more information on the E. 91st St. MTS please visit

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