May 16, 2016 By Michael Florio
The Department of Sanitation is searching for a new home in Astoria for its fleet of garbage trucks.
The DOS, which has numerous garage locations City-wide, currently uses a facility at 34-28 21st St. to store some of its trucks. However, the building is in poor condition and “close to being condemned,” according to Ignazio Terranova, Citywide Community Affairs Officer with the DOS.
Therefore, the agency is now looking for a new home in the neighborhood, Terranova announced at a town hall meeting hosted by Assembly Member Aravella Simotas and the United Community Civic Association last Thursday.
Residents questioned what would come of the current location, with some concerns about developments being built on the space. However, what becomes of the location is not the agency’s decision to make, Terranova responded.
One new location that the DOS is considering is near the Con Ed building at 20th Avenue and 31st Street.
“We are looking at that site,” Terranova confirmed. “But we are looking at other locations as well and nothing is set in stone.”
Terranova said the DOS has just begun the process of finding a new location to house the agency’s trucks. He said nothing is imminent and the agency will seek community input before making a final decision.
“We will speak to elected officials, as well as community members,” he said. “We will present any plan to the Community Board.”
Claudia Voyiatzis, an Astoria resident, said that the trucks driving along the residential 20th Avenue would “bother people.”
Council Member Costa Constantinides said he is also not convinced that 20th Avenue is the right location for the DOS to move, but will work with the agency to find the right location.
He told residents not to worry, as the relocation will go through a full City review.
“It will go before the Community Board, the Borough President, City Planning and the City Council,” he said. “We will have the ability to shape any plan and if we don’t like it we can vote it down.”
Constantinides added that his office receives regular complaints about odor from the trucks at their current location.
A new location would alleviate those complaints, which arise from the trucks having to be stored outside due to poor conditions and insufficient space inside the building, according to Terranova.
He added that the relocation would not lead to an increase of trucks serving the neighborhood. Rather, the same trucks that currently serve the neighborhood would operate from a different location.