The AVAC is fixed, RIOC crowed on September 3rd, but for much of Roosevelt Island, the claim was false. Clogged chutes, smelly, cramped refuse rooms and trash-lined streets persist.
By David Stone
The AVAC Is Fixed. Not.
Midday, September 3rd, RIOC pushed out an email blast. “After a long battle with a bed frame, the AVAC system is now up and running as usual!”
For several months, at least eight buildings went without the pioneering pneumatic tube system sucking daily trash into compactors north of Motorgate. Yet, the state agency that never makes a mistake failed to inform any residents until local media reported the crisis.
Then, they used the occasion for boasting about how diligently they’d been working at removing a stuck bed frame. They never said where nor was there as much as a photo, before or after. And of course, they neither apologized nor explained the absence of any notifications for months.
In claiming the AVAC is fixed, however, they patted themselves on the back.
“We owe a big thanks to our Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation engineering team and Owner Representatives, LiRo, who worked in conjunction with the New York City Department of Sanitation to clear the obstruction.”
And although they pointed a finger at residents for putting inappropriate items down AVAC chutes, they have never posted instructions on any chutes, guiding the heavy flow of newcomers unfamiliar with the unique system.
It was another incident where RIOC declined all responsibility for their part in creating problems.
The Test of Reality
In the interim, the AVAC system worked intermittently. But it’s not been 100% reliable since May. Today, blocked buildings run north of the Tram Plaza at least as far as Rivercross. Relying on Manhattan-style pickups of mountains of trash at curbs is the norm.
Along with RIOC’s ongoing failure at communicating with affected residents comes concerns about the state’s ability to keep the system working in the long term.
With RIOC increasingly a patronage dump for the Democratic Party and its supporters, enough skilled staff may be out of reach. You can’t eat up payroll with unqualified patronage, low and no show jobs and expect enough left for meeting basic requirements.
Roosevelt Island may be witnessing the early signals of system too badly supported for survival.
More from the Roosevelt Island Daily
- Behind Closed Doors at RIOC, the Strange Promotion of Tajuna SharpeSources tell us that RIOC human resources director Tajuna Sharpe was quietly made Assistant Vice President. No formal announcement followed, but questions rose because of her critical role in the firing of Susan Rosenthal. By David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News Tajuna Sharpe and Her Role in the Controversial Firing of Susan Rosenthal “Tajuna
- The George Braithwaite Table Tennis Court unveiling at Capobianco FieldThe Roosevelt Island Daily News The George Braithwaite Table Tennis Court will be unveiled at Capobianco Field, Roosevelt Island, during the late sportsman’s Ping Pong Diplomacy Commemoration on Saturday, Oct. 23, reports Caribbean Life News. Braithwaite, who died last October, was born in Guyana but spent most of his life on Roosevelt Island. Read his
- Yachts Cruise Under the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Everyone Else WaitsEmergency vehicles, cars, bike and pedestrians wait while yachts cruise freely under the Roosevelt Island Bridge during UN Week. Didn’t anyone think about the risks? By David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News It’s UN Week, and some disruptions are necessary for security. The Roosevelt Island Bridge draws up, allowing taller vessels to pass. But
- MTA on ‘Mask Blitz’ Following Reports of Low ComplianceJose Martinez, THE CITY This article was originally publishedon Sep 22 at 5:27pm EDTby THE CITY/Sign up here to get the latest stories from THE CITY delivered to you each morning. Police officers and transit workers distributed a record 26,000 masks in the transit system in the first three weeks of this month — topping the total for the
- Across the East River from Roosevelt Island, new clean energyA report in the New York Post says the state awarded a contract for the Clean Path Project. A 174 mile line will carry clean energy from Delaware County into New York City. Roosevelt Island Daily News The final destination is Con Ed’s Rainey Substation, just north of the Roosevelt Island Bridge. But you wouldn’t