Today’s news:

Jamaica residents wary of waste transfer station

Borough President Claire Shulman and Community Board 12 leaders are concerned about a waste transfer station located in a residential area on Douglas Street in Jamaica which has applied for a permit to handle more of the county’s garbage.

The facility currently handles 160 tons of garbage per month but has applied for a permit to take four or five times as much waste, Community Board 12 Chairman James Davis said at the board meeting May 16.

Davis and other members of the board are hoping to tour the facility in June to find out more about the station.

“We want to know what kind of waste they are handling,” Davis said.

Community Board 12 covers Jamaica, South Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans and a northern segment of Springfield Gardens.

The station is situated at Douglas Street and Merrick Boulevard just south of Archer Avenue, only a stone’s throw from York College in downtown Jamaica.

“I don’t think where the station is located that there is any room for expansion,” said Yvonne Reddick, the district manager of the board.

Reddick said she first heard about the potential expansion from Shulman, who acknowledged that there is too much money being spent on economic development in Jamaica to have more trash hauled through the area.

If the station expanded its service, it could take trash from as far south as the Rockaways to as far north as Forest Hills and Corona, Davis said.

But Shulman does not think the state will approve the facility’s application. “I have been told it will be turned down,” she said.

“I think that’s an outrage and I’ve told the state and I’ve told the city,” Shulman said of the transfer station. “We have said all along: People live there!”

In the wake of the closing of Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island March 22, each borough now is responsible for its own trash, Davis said.

Reddick said there was a problem several years ago with the smell from the station because the facility’s trucks were not being cleaned. The smell was so bad, residents did not want to open their windows, she said.

“Our concern is that whenever businesses come into the neighborhood, that you are a good neighbor,” Reddick said “and from what I’m hearing, that transfer station is not being a good neighbor.”

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300 Ext. 138.

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