Thursday, September 29, 2011


From a comment posted by one Mitchel Cohen, of Brooklyn Greens/Green Party, on the Times website, in response to Rebecca White's City Room article "Gathering on Upper East Side to Oppose Garbage Station," either posted or printed on June 11, 2011:

When I and other brought this up more than six years ago during the initial City Council hearings on the siting of the new round of Marine Transfer Stations -- not only the one abutting Asphalt Green but also one near where I live in Southwest Brooklyn on the very same site as the old unlicensed municipal incinerator that poisoned our neighborhood -- Gravesend, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Coney Island) -- for decades until we finally organized and succeeded in closing it down in the 1990s, Doherty, the Commissioner of the Department of Sanitation (calling itself DSNY), mickey moused us and said nothing.

Yes, everybody has riffed on DKNY. It's still amusing when it's the Sanitation Department.

Mr. Cohen goes on to say that "The City needs to be united around a viable holistic approach to garbage."

I don't know if the city does holistic approaches, period--does it? Artists who work on trash-awareness issues understand something basic about the process of processes. Most city officials do not, I'm guessing. Even if DSNY would like to take a holistic approach to trash, could it? Considering the number of people here.

San Francisco (at least, under Gavin Newsom, who might give Rodel Fellow Jessica Lappin his opinion on whether it's possible to do for health care in NYC the kind of thing he accomplished in San Francisco) can do holistic--its residents actually compost--but San Francisco is not quite as populous as New York City. And it's not a city on the Eastern Seaboard, which (as anybody who lives on this coast knows) has its own entrenched codes.

Whether or not the city can one day embrace holistic anything, process-oriented anything, the people in the East 90s are now stuck wondering why the city embraced Asphalt Green and then eventually opened two new schools (East Side Middle School/M.S. 114 and Yorkville Community School/P.S. 151) while planning to reopen a long-closed garbage depot, albeit one whose trucks will now queue inside instead of outside.

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