There's a lot of trash talk going on in North Brooklyn.
Bushwick residents who live around a busy waste transfer station on Thames St. are on a mission to get the facility shut down — claiming the noxious odors and fumes are enough to make people sick.
“They’re supposed to keep the garage door closed and their trucks off the sidewalks,” said neighborhood activist Ben Weinstein. “Their trucks are only supposed to idle three minutes — instead they do it for hours. They’re not following the laws.”
Weinstein and other members of Clean Up North Brooklyn want the city to relocate the site — owned by 5-Star Carting, a private company.
“They’re not compliant, and the neighborhood is suffocating, especially in summer, it’s so horrible we can’t go outside,” he said.
A spokesman for 5-Star Carting disputed the allegation that the company wasn’t following city rules and environmental regulations.
“The statements that they have made are not factual, there's a lot of misinformation that's being disseminated. The Brooklyn transfer is a clean, operating licensed facility,” said Ara Chekmayan.
The company has been in the neighborhood for at least two decades, neighbors said.
But it’s nested in a fast-growing part of Bushwick that’s full of families with young kids, who have to breathe the nasty smells, diesel fumes and the chemical spray 5-Star has started pumping out to mask the odors.
The turf war has grown so intense Clean Up Brooklyn recently made an 8-minute documentary about living near the dump — which is permitted to cart 560 tons of garbage daily.
The video highlights many community complaints, but pays particular attention to the spray used by 5-Star to cover smells.
The site manager shared the spray’s chemical make up in an effort to allay community fears — but some of the ingredients created more worry, because they carry health warnings, Weinstein said.
David Newman, an industrial hygienist with New York Committee for Occupational Safety, said the spray was a red flag.
“I’d certainly like more information on how it’s used,” said Newman.
Trash talk is nothing new to North Brooklyn, which houses 40% of all the city’s waste transfer stations — far more than any other community, said Councilman Antonio Reynoso.
“If you live in my district, asthma rates, pollution, the destruction of the streets, pedestrians dealing with truck traffic — these are all very familiar topics of concern,” said the Brooklyn Democrat.
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