Proposed Bed-Stuy Sanitation Garage Hits New Snag

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Location of the Nostrand Avenue site moves from 35th to 33rd City Council District

By Stephen Witt

With winter coming in like a hawk and a new mayoral administration, Bedford-Stuyvesant residents are wondering if after a 25-year wait they will finally get a sanitation garage to call their own.

Currently, all garbage, street cleaning and snow removal trucks operate out of a sanitation garage in Bushwick that also services Williamsburg, meaning that these services are logistically problematic when it comes to Bed-Stuy.

“That (Bushwick) is where our trucks are housed and when the garbage trucks get full they have to go all the way back to the other side of town so (sometimes) our garbage doesn’t get picked up until the evening,” said Community Board 3 Chair Tremaine Wright.

Since 1985, the Community Board has made the sighting of a sanitation garage closer to the community a major priority in its yearly lists of needs to the city. Having a garage in the community will ensure Bed-Stuy’s garbage will be picked up in an orderly manner and its streets will be plowed on time during snowstorms.

Many in the community thought the problem was solved when a city-owned site at 56 Nostrand Avenue was slated to house a new sanitation garage and capital city money was slated to build it.

It also had the support of former City Council and Public Advocate-elect Letitia James in whose 35th Council District the site was located.

However, the money for the garage project was pulled out of the fiscal year 2011-12 budget and put it towards two other projects that distribute garbage more equally around the city.

The community now has encountered more problems in that the Nostrand site was part of City Council redistricting and is now in City Councilman Stephen Levin’s 33rd City Council District, and is being used as a parking garage.

Sources say some in Levin’s new district are fighting having a sanitation garage there.

Wright said the Community Board met recently with Levin to discuss the issue.

“We told him the Community Board would like to see a sanitation garage there and that we need his support to allocate money out of the capital projects to build it. We let Mr. Levin know how important this project is for the community and would like to see the garage come to fruition,” said Wright.

Both Levin’s office and the city’s Department of Sanitation were unavailable for comment at press time.

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