December 6, 2016

Greenpoint Star

By Benjamin Fang

A report released by the community organization Cleanup North Brooklyn claims that Brooklyn Transfer, a private waste transfer company, has violated more than 1,200 city regulations in just one week.

At their second annual meeting on Wednesday, advocates said those actions, such as idling and leaving the station’s doors open, spew noxious odors into the community. Residents of the East Williamsburg neighborhood also attested to the negative impact it has had on their health.

“They believe all of the laws put in place to protect the health of our community and the quality of our air don’t apply to them,” said Jessica Quiason, a researcher with the Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN) and Bushwick resident. “They think keeping their doors open and making a profit is more important than keeping our community safe.”

The report collected video surveillance of the transfer station from surrounding businesses. Within a six-day period in May, activists said they observed 1,262 violations, including 63 for idling, 267 for opening their doors and 118 sidewalk violations.

Advocates also said the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) issued zero violations against Brooklyn Transfer during that week.

DSNY spokeswoman Belinda Mager said this year the agency has already conducted 60 full inspections and nearly 70 “drive-by” inspections of the facility. They also investigated complaints from 311.

“This report raises important community concerns about the operation of this facility, and we are carefully reviewing the report to determine what, if any, action is necessary at this time,” Mager said. “We encourage members of the community to report violations as they occur so inspectors can respond and take appropriate action.”

Quiason said more than 200 trucks run through the neighborhood per hour, 30 percent of which are garbage trucks. She said pollutants are then released at a rate fives times higher than the city average.

“This is dirty air we’re breathing in that has negative effects on our health,” she said.
Read more: Greenpoint Star – Group unveils report detailing violations at waste station