Thursday, June 3, 2021

Big Reuse Delivers Truckload of Compost Made From Recycled Food Scraps & Wood Chips To Roosevelt Island Living Library Garden Today For Planting Of More Flowers And Vegetables - RIOC President Says Permanent Water Source For Living Library Will Be Installed Following Incident With RIOC Staffer

As previously reported, the Big Reuse Queensbridge Compost Processing facility which recycles food scraps collected from Roosevelt Island and many other neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn is scheduled to be evicted from it's site under the Queensboro Bridge by the NYC Parks Department at the end of this month.  

Today, Big Reuse delivered a truckload containing 9 cubic yards of compost from it's facility in Gowanus Brooklyn to the Roosevelt Island Living Library next to the new Public Library branch at 504 Main Street. 

Living Library Teacher and Gardener China Bushell explains that the Roosevelt Island Living Library is built on compost, no soil at all, and with the added compost, more flowers and vegetables can be planted in the garden.

This was a good day for Ms Bushell and the Roosevelt Island Living Library unlike May 20 which Ms Bushell described as " one of my worst days on Roosevelt Island."

On May 25, I asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

I'm told last Saturday, a brutally hot day, the Living Library gardener attempted to use the Youth Center Water Connection for the plants and to save trees that were dying as she has done for several years in the past. According to the Gardener she was stopped from doing so by Erica Spencer-El who claimed the Gardener was trespassing and filed a complaint with Public Safety.
Is this true? Any comment from RIOC on the matter?

Ms Spencer-El is the RIOC Director of Communications and Community Affairs.

RIOC has not responded to my inquiry.

In response to Living Library Director Bonnie Sherk's email about this incident, RIOC President Shelton Haynes replied:

... I was made aware of the incident that occurred last week with regard to the request for water usage near the RIOC Youth Center. Please know it is always RIOC’s intention to have positive professional exchanges with Roosevelt Island community members, stakeholders and the public at large. As an update, we have plans to upgrade the area adjacent to the library which includes having a permanent water source. We anticipate that this project should be completed in the fall 2021. 

I have copied John O’Reilly, CFO on this correspondence as he will work with you and your team on a temporary solution for water access. We would also like to discuss some additional upgrades to the area that your group works in.

Lastly, Rosanna Ceruzzi inquired if there was an NYPD report filed on the matter. Our Public Safety leadership confirmed that there was no NYPD involvement or reports filed. Ms. Bushell, does not have any NYPD record that will need to be expunged. A member of the RIOC Public Safety department, who was assigned to the Youth Center that day was on the scene during the discussion. As part the requirement of the Public Safety department, he made an incident report in which all parties involved have to identify themselves....

More info about this incident at May 27 post.