The Fresh Kills landfill comes to film
A couple of year ago, I took a look at New York City’s 20+ year plan to transform the closed Fresh Kills landfill into the city’s largest park. That plan represents the end of the story: for years, residents and leaders on Staten Island worked to get the landfill closed… with some even threatening “secession” from the city over the health hazards and sensory displeasure created by the US’ largest dump.
The Office of Staten Island’s Borough president thinks the whole story of efforts to close Fresh Kills needs to be told… and decided to do so itself with the production of a documentary. Fresh Kills: Then and Now is slated to premiere later this year at Staten Island’s St. George Theater, but as part of the March 22nd celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the landfill’s closing, the office released a preview of the film… which you can watch above.
Judging by the preview, the film will focus on the tenacity of local leadership, and the issue of environmental justice Fresh Kills represented: essentially, Staten Island served as the dump for the city’s other boroughs for decades. It also shows officials at various levels working together towards a common cause: Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki also supported efforts to close the dump, and Mayor Bloomberg has supported the transition of the landfill into a massive recreational space. It’s a film about a dump… but also one that might have lessons to teach about cooperative government, and means by which people can address local environmental issues constructively and effectively.
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