Three months after the city’s announcement that the sanitation department (DSNY) would introduce the organics collection pilot program in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Councilmember Steve Levin hosted a public meeting Thursday to address concerns from residents that the program would add to the already overwhelming trash burden in North Brooklyn.
Over 50 people attended the meeting at the Bushwick Inlet Park meeting room along with representatives from the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Waste Management, National Grid and Councilmember Antonio Reynoso.
Representatives from the participating agencies assured residents that the program would in fact reduce pollution as a whole and would at most add to a “slight odor problem.”
At present anywhere from 15 to 35 trucks collect refuse and recyclables from the neighborhood each week, according to the DSNY.
The pilot program will run three years with a varying number of trucks transporting the digested waste from the Waste Management facility to the Newtown Creek facility, where it will be converted into energy to heat homes.
Initially, there will be an addition of four trucks a day for year one. That will increase to 11 trucks each day for year two, and 15 for year three. However, representatives for Waste Management say, this will reduce over 3,000 miles of traveling to waste disposal sites and will reduce greenhouse emissions equivalent to the running of 9,500 cars each year.
The trucks will all run along Department of Transportation (DOT) approved truck routes while commuting between the Waste Management facility and Newtown Creek.
The program will also bring in new bins into the neighborhood, which a representative from DSNY said would “contain trash better and address the rodent concern.”
“It’s all about climate change and reducing greenhouse emissions,” a representative from National Grid added.
Concerns lingered however in regards to the increase in trucks and Reynoso pushed for more discussion.
“The city must have valid dialogue in terms of truck reduction,” he said. “A lot of locations don’t have to be in Greenpoint.”