The facility, built in 1931, was too old and small for current operations, resulting in DSNY parking dozens of garbage trucks on nearby streets.
For decades, Ravenswood residents complained to city officials that not only were the trucks clogging up the roads, but also creating air and noise pollution. The trucks also made the area unsafe for pedestrians.
Despite having the funding secured, DSNY took nearly three years to locate a new site for the garage and make a proposal to the community.
Last week, department representatives finally presented plans to open a new 94,000-square-foot sanitation garage in an industrial part of northern Astoria. A new 20,000-square-foot salt shed will also be built at the site.
This win for the Ravenswood community took years of advocacy and planning. Finally, residents will no longer have to see garbage trucks lining their streets.
The local community board approved the project nearly unanimously. Many asked for the city to help clean up and provide public access to Luyster Creek, which DSNY should seriously consider in conjunction with fellow city agencies.
Otherwise, there were few complaints about the location of the new sanitation garage and salt shed.
When DSNY finally tears down the old garage, officials will be faced with the question of what to do with the city-owned property.
Some have proposed building a park, a community center or desperately needed, truly affordable housing to ease the city’s affordability crisis.
Those are all good ideas, and the public should have input on what the site will be used for.
Most importantly, the residents of Ravenswood Houses, who have long suffered environmental injustices, should have a say in the process.
It’s not a bad way to make up for decades of putting up with the garage.