Garbage Battle Take Two
October 16th, 2007
It has been more than a year since the City Council approved Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s solid waste management plan, but neither of them can seem to get the last element through Albany’s political posturing.
At a press conference this morning, Bloomberg, council members, state legislators, borough presidents and environmental advocates called on the state Assembly to approve an amendment to the Hudson River Park Act that would allow for a recycling and education center on the Gansevoort peninsula near 14th street. The center’s approval, which was covered by Gotham Gazette here, is hinged on several Manhattan assembly members, who have blocked the measure for months. The Senate approved it earlier this year.
“Next week the state Legislature will reconvene in Albany, and we are asking the state Assembly to remove the last major obstacle to implementing our solid waste management plan,” said Bloomberg in a press release. “The alternative locations proposed by opponents are unworkable and prohibitively expensive. Those red herring suggestions need to be put aside so this amendment to the Hudson River Park Act can be passed.”
The mayor’s plan is meant to create equality among the five boroughs by making each area responsible for its own waste. For years, several boroughs – first Staten Island with Fresh Kills then the Bronx and Brooklyn – took the bulk of city’s waste and the environmental and health effects that came along with it.
When legislators return to Albany next week for a special session, Bloomberg and other city officials hope the Assembly will approve the amendment, and thus make way for the last remaining part of the waste management plan.
But like most battles in Albany, things may turn ugly – uglier than they already are that is. One legislator has shouted racism, while figuratively pointing to the Assembly members holding up the bill, Deborah Glick, Linda Rosenthal and Dick Gottfried.
Opponents to the Gansevoort center say it is proposed on already dwindling parkland, claiming there are areas better suited for the facility.By Courtney Gross on October 16, 2007, 3:06 pm
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