- The Washington Times - Monday, June 20, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) — In one week, New Yorkers throw out enough garbage to equal the weight of the Empire State Building, and there’s a battle brewing in City Hall to change the way the city gets rid of it.

Each day, 50,000 tons of trash are hauled through the streets and carted out of the city by a fleet of trucks, but Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wants to start shipping it away on barges and move some trash transfer stations out of low-income communities.

The effort has become a sticky, dirty heap of politics, with accusations of “environmental racism” and trash talk from all sides. One city official from a wealthy Manhattan district doesn’t want a trash transfer station stinking up his back yard, and some opponents say the plan doesn’t address the overall need to reduce waste.

Mr. Bloomberg’s new plan — backed by environmentalists and health groups — proposes four waterside transfer stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, where barges would take away loads of trash. He says the plan would reduce pollution from truck exhaust, improve traffic on city streets and help low-income communities now stuck with trash transfer stations.

But the City Council voted last week to block the mayor’s plan — a revolt led by Speaker Gifford Miller. His chief complaint: The Manhattan riverside station is located in his Upper East Side district, next to a park.

The mayor vetoed the council’s vote, and unless the parties reach a compromise in the next few days, the measure will head for an override effort.

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