Call on Sanitation Department to transfer ownership to begin transformation process
NEW YORK --- For decades, the Marine Transfer Station (MTS) on the Hudson River at 135th Street has been an environmental burden and eyesore in West Harlem. Because it was the only 24-hour waste transfer station in the five boroughs, it also attracted more trucks and garbage than any other such facility in the city.
After decades of grassroots campaigning to have the 135th Street MTS shut down and for the city to deal with solid waste equitably across communities, now elected officials and community members are urging the city to take action on redeveloping the site.
Speakers including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Councilman Mark Levine, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Community Board 9 and the NY League of Conservation Voters each spoke at a press conference today near the MTS. They urged the Department of Sanitation to release control of the site, and for the city government to begin the redevelopment process in earnest.
The speakers also announced a town hall meeting to be held on the MTS redevelopment on June 5th at 6:30 p.m. at Manhattan Pentecostal Church, 541 West 125th Street. The town hall, which already has 200+ RSVPs, will further iterate support for the redevelopment by elected officials and the community.
WE ACT for Environmental Justice Executive Director Peggy Shepard said: “The community’s vision for the redevelopment of the 135th Street MTS prioritizes sustainability, economic development, and food security. We have a great opportunity to develop a multi-use facility that demonstrates a model of community-based planning that benefits the community and enhances recreation at the Hudson River for all New Yorkers. This community developed the vision and political will that resulted in the West Harlem Piers, and we will bring that vision and determination to this new challenge.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said: “I strongly support efforts by the community and WE ACT in bringing together a broad range of views in planning the future use of this site. This MTS site can go from being a blight and eyesore to new green space to be enjoyed by all.”
Council Member Mark Levine (District 7) said:"The long-decommissioned 135th Street waste terminal is the next frontier in the movement to reclaim our working waterfront. The site represents the keystone that will connect Riverbank State Park with West Harlem Piers Park and I am incredibly excited by the many creative ideas that would transform it for community use. Our neighborhoods spent decades suffering from its ill effects and then another ten years imagining what it could be. Now we are calling on the City to finally make our dreams a reality and turn the site into a source of pride for all of West Harlem
New York League of Conservation Voters President Marcia Bystryn said: “With full support from our city leaders, the 135th Street Marine Transfer Station can go from trash to treasure. This is an exciting opportunity that will hopefully transform this section of the West Harlem waterfront to benefit the local community and all of New York City. We strongly encourage members of the public to join us for the town hall meeting to learn more and express their views.”