North Brooklyn suffers from unusually high rates of asthma, cancer, and other long term health problems. 


Because we have a cluster of waste transfer stations that handle 40% of New York City's waste

Brooklyn Transfer LLC is a privately owned solid waste transfer station located at 97-115 Thames Street. The community that surrounds the station have serious concerns with regards to public health, in connection to the station’s daily operations. Specific concerns include street safety, air quality, noise pollution, a lack of transparency with heavy chemical deodorizers and the well being of facility staff.

Public health hazards include...

  • IDLING TRUCKS, which hurt our community. The diesel fuel soot contains tiny particulate matter (PM2.5) that is so small it can easily embed into our lungs. PM2.5 is known to cause severe respiratory issues, asthma and lung cancer. This issue is not regulated by the city or the waste transfer facility.
  • ODOR! This is the most experienced nuisance for community members, residents, business patrons and visitors. Brooklyn Transfer is dangerously malodorous because they fail to adhere to the maintenance measures outlined in their permits. Brooklyn Transfer is supposed to completely wash the facility and keep it clear of work, once a day for 30 minutes. They do not, and as a result, bacteria grows and odors intensify.


    • Brooklyn Transfer mists artificial fragrances (chemical deodorizers) into the neighborhood air 6 days a week. This industrial grade perfume is sprayed from ground level “foggers,” to eye level of workers and passing pedestrians. CNB believes that these strong chemical scents are not meant to go directly into residents’ eyes, nasal passages or lungs and this practice is illegal. In our community research into the material data safety sheet of the station, we discovered that many of the chemicals identified are known endocrine disruptors, which can affect youth and hormonal development. 

    • Leachate, the liquid that drips from the garbage trucks is a complex mix of chemicals, including pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, household chemicals, and rotting food. The law says that leachate should not “flow onto city streets” but facility staff is often seen power washing this filth from the facility directly into our streets.

I am a father of 3, and because of the contaminated fumes that come from this facility, I must now carry an inhaler.

— Resident testimonial at our last town hall, November 2015

What We've Achieved

On November 30, 2015, over 100 community members came out to our community forum, including our city council man Antonio Reynoso, representatives from the Department of Environmental Conservation, representatives from the Business Integrity Commission, organizational alliances (ALIGN, EL PUENTE, New York Environmental Justice Alliance, Make the Road, Teamsters), residents, business owners, and local press. As a result of our efforts, the Department of Sanitation New York (DSNY) decided to reduce the amount of city waste they send to Brooklyn Transfer by 50%.

Cleanup North Brooklyn Community Forum, 2015

Cleanup North Brooklyn Community Forum, 2015