We are a grassroots coalition of block and residents’ associations working for comprehensive, environmentally safe waste management policies and environmental justice.
The Morningside Heights/West Harlem Coalition was founded in 1994 by members of the Grant Houses Residents Association and its then President, Keith Mitchell, the Morningside Gardens Community Relations Committee, its chair, Joan Levine and a group of smaller local community groups. Its purpose was to work together to improve the quality of life in the Morningside Heights/West Harlem community adjacent to their developments.
Early in the life of this Coalition, it became evident that the predominant issues facing the neighborhood were those having to do with solid waste, thus the name “Sanitation Coalition”.
In 1996, the Sanitation Coalition joined the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC -EJA)
In 2005, the group was incorporated as a non profit, 501 C3.
The Coalition is a small group made up entirely of volunteers from its constituent groups elected every two years at their Annual Meeting in June.The group is known city-wide for its hands on recycling education workshops. (This approach was adopted by Grow-NYC. They call it their “recycling game.”) From 2006 to approximately 2010, the Coalition worked floor by floor, building by building to organize a functioning recycling program at Grant Houses. Through the years, we conducted a variety of recycling educational activities for Morningside Gardens. In addition, we have done recycling workshops for the neighborhood block and building associations, worked with superintendents in the Ecumenical Development buildings, senior centers and in other venues.
At the Annual Meeting and on other occasions, we have had speakers and videos on a variety of topics concerning the environment. We do recycling education tabling at local street fairs. As an environmental justice advocacy group, we work with NYC-EJA in support of bills to improve the quality of the environment especially in Environmental Justice communities such as parts of West Harlem. We are known for our neighborhood textile and e-waste collections held on La Salle Street several times a year.