Stop The Stench In Jamaica

Something stinks in Jamaica—literally.

Residents living near Liberty Avenue have long been complaining that a garbage processing plant operated by Royal Waste Services Inc. has damaged their quality of life.

The plant, which is located on 168-56 Douglas Ave., and two other plants in the Bronx and Brooklyn process three-quarters of the city’s trash. Homeowners near the site have said that the plant produces unbearable smells, its trucks are loud and tear up streets in the community and air pollution from the site is in close proximity to a heavily utilized park.

Neighbors of the plant have called on Royal Waste to be a better neighbor and we agree with them. There’s no good reason why residents should be forced to keep their windows shut during the summer, when the smells from the plant worsen, or be chased away from a local park due to bad odors.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that he wants to transition waste disposal to a more manageable “zoned system” in which neighborhoods would only handle their own trash. A good place to start would be Jamaica, where one Liberty Avenue resident told the Press of Southeast Queens that the smell from Royal Waste often keeps her awake at night.

Obviously, a city as large as New York City will produce a significant amount of garbage and that trash must be processed somewhere. But a single community should not be bearing the brunt of it. If Royal Waste continues to process garbage in Southeast Queens, it should find a way to curb the stench plaguing its neighbors. If not, then the city needs to move forward with a plan to evenly dispose of trash throughout the five boroughs, instead of polluting communities of color.

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