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Queens Community Board #1 Support for Big Reuse - Big Reuse

Queens Community Board #1 Support for Big Reuse

March 14, 2024


Honorable Jacqueline Langsam

Commissioner - Queens Borough Parks

NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

The Overlook

80-30 Park Lane

Kew Gardens, New York 1 1415 


Dear Commissioner Langsam,

Our office is writing to you regarding the BIG Reuse. On February 22, 2021 we sent Parks Department Commissioner Docket a letter (enc,). This letter outlined Community Board 1, Queens position on the dire need to maintain the composting site. As previously stated there was overwhelming support and this letter sent is still relevant today.

In the previous letter we spoke about the investments made in this location and the positive national acclaim so we reiterate this site should be protected and displacing them is not the answer. That sentiment stands today.

Our office is asking you to review the enclosed letter and take a hard long look at the support the BIG Reuse has from not only the direct community but the Borough of Queens.

Our office looks forward to a positive outcome for this vital service.

Thank you,


Sincerely, 

Florence Koulouris

 

 

February 22, 2021

 

Honorable Michael Dockett

Commissioner - Queen Borough Parks 

NYC Department of Parks and Recreation 

The Overlook 

80-30 Park Lane 

Kew Gardens, New York 11415

 

Dear Commissioner Dockett, 

Our Community is keenly aware of the dire need to upgrade and maintain Queensbridge Baby Park located at Queensboro Bridge, 41st Road, 40th Avenue between The East River, Vernon Boulevard, and 21st Street for decades the Park fell into disrepair. The residents of Queensbridge Houses have advocated for the upgrade of the Park. Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer advocated and received Mayoral funding for this project to come to final fruition. Western Queen is in dire need of green space and the upgrade for outdoor activity has never been more needed. The recent Pandemic has proven this fact as we lack enough green space. 

Western Queens is known as asthma alley and our Community is extremely aware of environmental issues. Our residents are interested in reclaiming the waterfront wherever possible. In addition, recycling is a very important issue within the district. Prior to the Pandemic our district was targeted to begin participating in the Department of Sanitation Composting program. Our residents were extremely excited that this program was finally within our boundaries. Our residents are keenly aware of how good composting is for the environment and they advocate for composting. Queensbridge Baby Park is located on the waterfront and had been forgotten for so long. Then, the BIG Reuse came along in 2011 and repurposed a desolate area where dumping has been occurring. Their vision for the space slowly became a reality. They breathed life back into the space.

Following their proposed Capital improvement plans for Queensbridge Baby Park, NYC Parks held a community visioning session on January 28, 2021 where community members shared their ideas for the project. Overwhelmingly, we heard from individuals who want the BIg Reuse compost processing site to remain at its current location, The Community Understands it has been operating next to the Park for Many years. 

The Parks Department is attempting to relocate the compost site, stating they require the land for their operations equipment. The residents understand that this cost could be more by having to find another location for the Parks Department parking. However, uprooting the BIG Reuse would be a devastating blow to NYC’s composting infrastructure which has been badly bruised since the pandemic. 

Due to the investments made in this location and the positive national acclaim this site should be protected, displacing them is not the answer. The two uses can and should be accommodated.  Their site brings in 1000 volunteers a year and hundreds of tour participants. Once Parks turns their compost site into operations it will no longer be accessible to the public. Our community desired more accessible space not less. Their site provides compost to over 200 community groups, Green Thumbs, and Queens Parks that will no longer be available if they are displaced. The organization wishes to support local gardening initiatives like Queensbridge Sacred Garden started by their neighbor Suga Ray. The irony is their site composts leaves for Western Queens Parks that will be landfilled if they are evicted. Transporting the disposal will be an additional cost to taxpayers at a time when the budget of the City is negatively impacted. BIG Reuse is a more effective way to dispose/upcycle organics, relieves some of the burden from DOS in the problems they were having, along saving taxpayers a substantial amount of money.

The Parks Department will need to negotiate and secure a long-term license for the BIG Reuse to use the space. Community Board 1, Queens Parks/Recreation/Cultural Committee met on February 8, 2021, and the Environmental Protection Committee met on February 9, 2021 both committees votes unanimously to support the BIG Reuse in their endeavors to remain at their location and are seeking the Parks Department commitment to negotiate and secure the BIG Reuse Composting Program site. 

On February 16, 2021 at the Full Board Meeting, Community Board 1, Queens voted in favor of this request.

Our board urges your agency to realize the importance of this program to the environment and to the residents of our community. We anticipate a positive review. 

Thank you. 

 

Sincerely, 

Marie Tomiali, Chairperson

Katie Ellman, Co-Chair Park/Recreation/Cultural Committee 

Kathleen Warnock, Co-Chair Park/Recreation/Cultural Committee 

Antonella Di Saverio, Chair Environmental Protection Committee 

Letters of Support from Queen Community Board #1 

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