Calls on de Blasio Administration to create new ideas
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Undaunted by the uphill battle he is facing in his fight to keep the city from building a trash processing plant on the Bensonhurst waterfront, Assemblyman Bill Colton said now is not the time to give up.
In fact, things might be on the upswing, he hinted.
Colton, who filed a lawsuit to stop the city from moving forward with the plan to construct a trash plant on Gravesend Bay at 1824 Shore Parkway, said he recently received word that the court has ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on a procedural matter. “We have received word that the Court’s Appellate Division has decided to grant our motion for us to proceed on the original record in our case. In other words, we can continue with our lawsuit against the Gravesend Bay garbage station without having the burden of making copies of thousands of documents of the original record,” he said.
Colton charged that the proposed plant will pose an environmental danger to residents across southwest Brooklyn. He has led numerous protest rallies against the proposed plant and has also organized an online petition drive. The most recent protest demonstration took place earlier this month.
Under the city’s Solid Waste Management Plan, approved by the City Council in 2006 during the Bloomberg Administration, the city is set to build a series of trash processing plant, called marine transfer stations, in waterfront areas in the five boroughs. The stations will process household trash that is trucked in. After compacting the garbage, the processing plant workers will place the trash onto barges for shipment to out of state landfills.
With Mayor Bill de Blasio showing no signs of stopping the plan from moving forward, Colton is putting pressure on City Hall. He issued a statement that incorporates a phrase that the mayor has often used: progressive. “This plan, including the proposal to build and operate a garbage station along Gravesend Bay, is not progressive or forward thinking,” Colton said.
But the city has won approval for its plan at every stage of the process. In 2012, the city won the approval of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to move forward with the project.
Colton charged, however, that the city is looking backward, instead of forward.
“The city’s Solid Waste Management Plan is an antiquated plan of the same, old way the city has always handled its trash disposal: spending hundreds of millions of more dollars on more dumping and more transporting garbage to more environmentally impacted residential communities. The proposal to build a garbage station on Gravesend Bay is part of the City’s outdated management of trash,” Colton said. “It is now time for the city to create a new, progressive plan with a bold vision for managing our trash. It is now time for the city to recycle and reuse our trash. Instead of creating new ways to dump and transport garbage in residential communities, the new city administration should be creating innovative, modern ways to increase recycling in order to reduce our waste.”
The online petition can be found at strongsouthernbrooklyn.net, the website of Sandy Task Force Recovery Organized by Neighborhood Groups (STRONG), a coalition working with Colton to stop the plant.
Colton and other opponents of the city’s Solid Waste Management Plan processing plant in Bensonhurst found new allies in their battle.
Pledge2Protect, an organization seeking to prevent a trash plant from being built on the Upper East Side, has joined forces with STRONG. The two groups led a recent protest rally at the Ceasar’s Bay Shopping Mall in Bensonhurst, located a short distance from the trash plant site.