40 Tons of Garbage a Day Now Piling Up at Bronx Co-Op

Think about one ton of weight. A car. Think about how big a car is, and how compact it is in regards to all that weight. Science! It's amazing. Now think about that one ton of weight as trash. Trash that is in bags, that isn't compacted. And think about it piling up. That's exactly what's happening at a Bronx co-op right now.

Via the New York Times, the Bronx's Co-Op City - which has been open since the 70s as a working-class enclave with affordable, above-average living conditions - is currently having labor problems, as the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ is having a labor dispute with the property's management and ownership. And by "labor dispute" we mean "half of the 500 workers at Co-Op City are on strike." Which has resulted in this:

With more than half of the staff at the sprawling northeast Bronx housing development on strike, many residents feared that conditions would quickly deteriorate. The 35-building complex, with more than 50,000 residents, generates up to 40 tons of garbage each day. Hours after the strike began, many residents began carrying their own trash outside and performing other small tasks left undone. Despite the extra chores, most people said they sided with the union. They cited stingy managers, longtime support for labor and compassion for their neighbors.

How about that? New Yorkers see management taking a bullish stance in negotiations they need to wrap up to benefit them, but still do their part to pitch in because they hold steady to their ideals. Unfortunately, one has to wonder how long their stance will last: that trash is going to add up quickly, and dollars to donuts, Co-Op City has its fair share of residents who're unable to assist with the (literal) heavy lifting that's going to be needed to get done over the next few days, at which point, residents are going to be asking for assistance from the city, when Co-Op City looks like an apocalyptic, trash-strewn hellhole. And that won't be good, either.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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