BY GABE HERMAN | Finally, the saga of an East Village residential block being used to park garbage trucks overnight for the past 14 months seems to be coming to an end.
Community members and local officials have been protesting the situation since last September, when the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) started using a block on East 10th Street, between First and Second Avenues, to park its trucks after its nearby garage lease expired.
The trucks have been parked every night from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., and all day on Sundays, causing complaints of noise and bad smells. Legislation was recently introduced by State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Deborah Glick to address the issue by banning garbage trucks from parking overnight on any city street.
On Thursday, the city finally said it is dumping the scheme.
Mayor de Blasio and DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia announced that the trucks have been moved and are now being temporarily stationed at Pier 42, on the Lower East Side. The new location will allow DSNY to still provide essential services like collection and snow removal, the city said.
“When New Yorkers want something done, they want it done yesterday, which is why we’d like to thank our neighbors in the East Village for bearing with us while we found a new home for our sanitation trucks,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We heard their concerns and we’ve responded. Residents can once again enjoy the clean streets and sidewalks that the Department of Sanitation provides without obstruction.”
The garbage trucks will be stationed at Pier 42 until construction starts early next year on a new park there, according to the announcement. DSNY said it’s still working on a long-term solution for finding nearby garage space, including a proposed new garage at the Brookdale Campus on East 25 Street near the FDR Drive.
DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said it’s essential for the Department to be stationed near the areas it serves. “Finding garage locations in the city’s tight real estate landscape has been a challenge,” she said. “Parking on East 10th Street was a matter of last resort, which is why we are happy to have been able to find a suitable alternative that allows us to continue our essential services.”
The Sanitation Department said it would continue working with elected officials and community leaders to find a permanent facility for Manhattan’s East Side.
“I am happy that DSNY is providing the residents and small businesses of East 10th Street with relief from the garbage trucks that have impacted their quality of life for over a year,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “But as the park we fought for and secured at Pier 42 begins development in 2020, I look forward to working with the City to find an appropriate, more permanent location for these trucks.”
State Senator Hoylman said after the city’s announcement, “The sweet smell of success! Thanks to the work of neighbors, the community board, and elected officials including Mayor de Blasio, the Sanitation Department has finally moved their garbage trucks off this residential block in the East Village to a more suitable location. Hopefully, life will resume to normal for the residents and small businesses along East 10th Street who’ve been dealing with this stinky situation for over a year.”