Brooklyn Council Member Antonio Reynoso of District 34 sponsored a law that supports low income communities in North Brooklyn in a way that has long since been neglected. Up until the Waste Equity bill was signed on August 16 of this year, nearly 40% of the garbage in all of New York City was being sent to waste transfer stations located solely within the limits of Brooklyn Community Board 1; this disproportionately affected the communities that live there, several of which are low income and neighborhoods of color. While this was certainly an issue of waste management, it was also a clear reflection of the institutionalized racism and class-ism that is present in our borough.
This bill relieves these hard-hit neighborhoods of waste that they were receiving; specifically, the amount of waste that is received by private transfer stations will be cut by 50% in North Brooklyn and 33% in the South Bronx and Southeast Queens. Additionally, it prevents any future waste transfer station creation in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, as well as bans the creation of new waste treatment plants in neighborhoods that handle 10% of the city’s waste. The Waste Equity bill serves to protect both the environment surrounding these neighborhoods and the people who live there, and was a clear display of leadership and advocacy from Council Member Reynoso.
NBPA had the honor of presenting the 2018 Community Service Award to Council Member Reynoso at the 7th Annual Party for the Parks. He spoke of his commitment to the city, as demonstrated by his commitment to passing the Waste Equity bill, and in particular his home here in North Brooklyn. He spoke of how he believes that empathy is the key ingredient to sparking great social change that serves those in need. Council Member Reynoso is the kind of leader that NBPA is proud to support him, and is exceptionally grateful to advocate for North Brooklyn alongside him. North Brooklyn will certainly benefit from the Waste Equity bill for generations to come.