The terms ‘dumpster’ and ‘stormwater management’ aren’t typically uttered in the same breath, but Alloy Development thinks they should be. The real estate company recently received approval to put six dumpsters filled with plants and trees in parking spaces around Gowanus to soak up some of the rainwater that would otherwise run off into the canal and contribute to flooding. Each of the ‘dumpster gardens’ can hold up to 2,000 gallons of water, lending to the project’s name: The 2,000 Gallon Project.
At last Thursday’s Brooklyn Community Board 6 transportation committee meeting, the proposal received unanimous support from committee members in a vote, clearing the way for Alloy Development to install six dumpster gardens in parking spaces around Gowanus. Each dumpster measures 11-foot-long by 4-feet-6 tall and will take up two parking spaces. Part art installation and part flood protection, the dumpsters will be located at Third Street between Bond Street and the canal, Union and Nevins streets, Union Street between Bond Street and the canal, Sackett and Nevins streets, Nevins Street between Douglass and Butler streets, and Third Avenue at Douglass Street.
A dumpster is not exactly the most attractive thing to look at, but these bright-blue container gardens promise to smell better than just about any other trash receptacle across the city. At the committee meeting, locals applauded the real estate developer for doing something positive for the community. “It’s new for me to have developers coming to the neighborhood and doing something positive,” said Park Slope resident Joanna Oltman Smith. “It provides much needed infrastructure in the neighborhood.”
Alloy is partnering with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy on the dumpster garden project. The effort is a stop-gap measure to divert tens of thousands of gallons of water that would otherwise gush into the canal. Right now, stormwater is collected in an underground sewage tank that often overflows, contributing to pollution in the canal which is already an EPA Superfund site. The city is working on a project to install additional stormwater tanks, but those won’t be ready for several years.
“Water management is a critical issue for Gowanus,” said AJ Pires, Alloy’s executive vice president. “We hope the project can help draw attention to the issue while we wait for the larger remedies the government is planning.”
Via Brooklyn Paper
Images via Alloy Development