Garbage trucks would no longer be able to stink up city streets overnight under a new bill put forward by two state lawmakers.
The legislation comes just over a year after the Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) lease ran out at a Hudson Yards parking lot and the agency relocated some two dozen trucks to three East Village side streets. Since then, locals have relentlessly complained about the stench of garbage and say the wall of trucks has become a public health and safety hazard. The “ridiculous practice” of overnight garbage truck parking in the East Village and beyond must end, say local pols.
“We must ban garbage trucks from parking overnight on residential streets so we can protect the quality of life in every corner of our city,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman, who represents the area and introduced the legislation with Assemblymember Deborah Glick.
Under the law, any vehicle “removing, disposing of, conveying or transporting solid waste” would be banned from parking overnight on city streets, according to the bill.
For the past 14 months, garbage trucks have parked on East 10th Street between First and Second avenues from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night and all day on Sundays. The city has said the street was selected because the block is near DSNY stations where workers receive orders and can use restrooms and locker space. But the change has “ruined 10th Street business activity and residents’ quality of life,” according to City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who represents the area and lauded the state legislation.
The East Village block is far from the only street that has endured the smelly scourge of sanitation trucks lining their streets overnight. Mayor Bill de Blasio even admitted last year that the city doesn’t want “residential areas to feel the burden” of garbage truck parking, yet nothing has changed on the East 10th Street block. “Do we want garbage trucks parked on residential streets? Of course not,” the mayor said.
A DSNY spokesperson defended the practice as a necessary evil.
“In a city with a limited amount of space, DSNY uses all options at our disposal to care for our fleet,” said Dina Montes, a spokesperson for the agency. “Street parking has been necessary to keep providing essential services to this area while we find a new garage space.”
The sanitation department has insisted that the change is only temporary, but city officials told Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer that the garbage trucks would likely remain a fixture on the street for “a year to three years.”
Sanitation officials had years to prepared for the agency’s lease expiring at the Hudson Yards depot at 606 West 30th Street. In fact, the imminent relocation partially motivated a 2014 proposal in partnership with the NYC Economic Development Cooperation to build a garage in Gramercy. The project began the public review process in 2015, says DSNY, but the effort has since stalled in environmental reviews.