NYC Waste Transfer Stations- Varick Ave.

I moved to Greenpoint in September and wasn’t even aware of the waste transfer site on Varick ave., until about a month later. I began researching the site, and realized that what is considered waste in our society is involved in a long complicated infrastructure of transport in which our waste is systematically unloaded onto someone else accross state lines.

The Varick Ave. waste transfer station is the latest in an attempt to change the way in which New York passes its waste onto other communities via rail instead of truck, where it will ultimately end in private landfills in South Carolina and Virginia. – A photo documentary of our waste’s travel route from Bushwick to Greenpoint by Matthew Faroulo

The idea of which communities get to process waste and where it moves is an ongoing question mark- the physical map of where our waste goes, what space it take, and more importantly whose space it takes is something that seems to be in constant debate. Waste seems to carry an inherent trait of being “undesirable” and the resources both spacial and infrastructural it takes will always be unfair to some since, the nature in which we process waste automatically is one of displacement. The physical map of out waste in cIn our society everybody produces this biproduct of waste that has to then travel very complex infrastructural systems, and it was interesting to see how the debate of who gets to deal with it and who deals with whose waste becomes a very complex social debate of space and community “rights”.

The fact that Greenpoint, a community surrounded by water, and literally at the physical edge of Brooklyn- the waterfront,  is a tranfer point for waste reminded me a lot of Italo Calvin’s passage in Invisible Cities where the image of expanding walls of discarded material rise wider and keep expanding. In this case to Virginia and North Carolina.

This photo was taken a couple years ago by my friend of her sister who lives in the Greenpoint area. They had taken a walk to the waterfront.


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