2016-05-25 / Front Page

Sanitation Trucks Seek New Astoria Home

By Liz Goff
Officials at the Queens West One (QW1) Sanitation garage are searching for a new home for supervisors, workers and their fleet of collection trucks.

Department of Sanitation (DOS) officials said the garage at 34-28 21st Street has housed QW1 for more than eight decades. The building is in such poor condition that it is close to being condemned, a DOS spokesperson said

The garage opened in 1931 and currently serves as a workplace for approximately 150 DOS employees and as a “working storage”: facility for more than 60 pieces of equipment, the spokesperson said.  That number includes collection trucks, sidewalk sweepers, snow removal equipment, front loaders and other equipment used by Sanitation workers.

This building was not designed to accommodate the number of collection trucks that go in and out every day, the DOS supervisor said. For years, neighbors never complained about the trucks, but complaints have risen in the last few years, a WQ1 supervisor said/ “When your neighbors start to complain, you know it’s time to go,” he said.

Here’s a puzzle for Gazette history buffs: a Google search of the Empire State Building, circa 1934, shows the Queensborough Bridge, Long Island City and a white, rectangular building on the side of the bridge. Zoom into that building for a view of the QW1 garage in its infancy, surrounded by a vast, open space. “It’s like we’ve always been here,” a QW1 worker said. “The photo shows that the Department of Sanitation was here before just about anything else.”

DOS spokesperson Ignazio Terranova confirmed that the agency is actively searching throughout Astoria for a new home for QW1. One of the sites under consideration is located on 20th Avenue and 31st Street, Terranova said. “We are looking at that location and several others in the immediate area, but at this time nothing is set in stone, Terranova said.”

The agency has no control over plans for redevelopment of the 21st Street parcel, Terranova said. “We have no control over what will become of that property once we’re gone,” he said.

City Councilmember Costa Costantinides said he is working with DOS to find a suitable location for QW1. The Astoria lawmaker sad he is not convinced that the 20th Avenue site is the best choice for the new sanitation garage.

“We will have the ability to shape any plan proposed by DOS,” Constantinides said. “If we don’t like what we see, we will be able to vote it down.”

Terranova said the move would not give DOS an opportunity to bring more trucks into the Astoria area. “QW1 will have the same equipment, regardless of where the garage relocates,” he said. 

 

 

 

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.