BY JASON COHEN
After not existing for nearly
20 years, the Borough President’s
Offi ce and local activists
helped restart the Bronx Solid
Waste Advisory Board (SWAB)
The SWAB is a nonprofi t
organization dedicated to increasing
solid waste and advancing
solid waste policy in New
York. Prior to 2021, there were
SWABs in Queens, Brooklyn
and Manhattan. The group
will meet on a monthly basis.
Restarting the group was
important for Borough President
Reuben Diaz, who is a big
proponent of making the Bronx
a healthier place to live.
“Since I fi rst took offi ce, environmental
justice and sustainable
been at the forefront of my
agenda, and the reinstatement
of The Bronx SWAB is a tremendous
step towards achieving
these priorities,” Diaz
said. “I have long emphasized
environmental initiatives of
all sizes, including the restoration
of Orchard Beach, four
new metro-north stations to
help minimize the adverse impacts
of congestion, enhancing
park infrastructure, garbage
cleanups around the borough
and passive housing projects.
I am encouraged by the direction
our Borough is moving,
and all the great work is being
done to advocate for our climate.”
The fi rst meeting occurred
Jan. 21 and among those to
push for the reactivation was
the Bronx Sunrise Movement.
They discussed bylaws, developing
a leadership council and
had members of the SWABs
from the other boroughs on
Michael Villanova, the hub
coordinator for Sunrise, spoke
with the Bronx Times about
why it was important to reinstate
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, M 20 ARCH 12-18, 2021 BTR
the SWAB. Villanova
pointed out that each borough
is required to have a SWAB, so
this is long overdue.
“Our intent on reestablishing
the SWAB was around
environmental racism,” Villanova
With high asthma rates,
trucks idling and waste management
sites in low-income
and Black and Brown communities,
Villanova feels Bronx
residents need a voice in combating
He explained that while the
SWAB can’t pass laws or regulations,
it can create offi cial
reports and recommendations
to the city council and borough
president’s offi ce on how
to manage solid waste and do
projects in the community.
“The Bronx shouldn’t be
the dumping ground for other
people’s solid waste,” he said.
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