The Sanitation Coalition was formed in 1994 and became a Non-Profit organization 501(c)3 in 2005. It is a coalition of block and residents’ associations located in Manhattan’s Community Board #9 area. It has been fighting for environmental justice and educating our neighborhood residents about solid waste issues since that time. Our coalition members and our all-volunteer Board reflect the diversity of the community, with our most active contingents coming from Grant Houses, and Morningside Gardens.
Our community has been plagued with plethora of noxious municipal facilities, from a sewage treatment plant, to a marine transfer station, to two large bus depots and a natural gas pipeline. Several major truck traffic routes run through the neighborhood and we are adjacent to the Henry Hudson Parkway. As a result, we have a very high asthma rate in the area, with many of the local school students and residents of Grant and Manhattanville Houses especially hard hit, suffering from many severe respiratory illnesses.
This physical environment and the race and class make-up of our neighborhood inspired us to create a coalition of environmental watchdogs to fight, to improve and protect the health of our neighborhood and plan for the sustainability of our community.
WHO WE ARE
The Board of directors of The Sanitation Coalition is the governing body with input from a community organizer. The ethnic and economic diversity of the community is reflected in our Board. The Board members are currently evenly divided between residents of Grant Houses and Morningside Gardens located across the street form Grant. As it happens, most are retired women who have lived for many years in the community. Because of the small size and grassroots nature of the organization, the Directors do most of the organizations’ work, volunteering their time, expertise and energy. Since 2012 we have been part of a fellowship program at Pratt institute, which assigns a Pratt intern to the organization.
THE SANITATION COALITION BOARD
Sarah Martin – Co-Chair
Joan Levine – Co-Chair
Marie Ledoux – Secretary
Gloria Allen – Treasurer
Isil Akgul, Fellow
The Sanitation Coalition is a member of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYCEJA) a City-wide organization that fights for environmental justice for low income communities of color. Currently it is working on securing safety for these mostly waterfront communities in the face of global warming and sea level rise. NYCEJA has allied itself with Metropolitan New Jersey Environmental Justice communities to secure equitable funding for Sandy relief. NYCEJA is also committed to the NYC Department of Sanitation’s Solid Waste Management Plan and the “Fair Share” provision of the NYC Charter which requires ALL communities in the City to share noxious municipal facilities that are necessary for the City’s functioning. Garbage is an important example. At present, “fair share” does NOT exist with low income communities of color shouldering most of these facilities.