Site Description-AM

  1. Preliminary Paper Title: 

-Minorities of Ironbound always finish last. 

  1. Author Biography:

-I am a 22-year-old history major at Rutgers Newark. When I first came to school in Newark I wanted to transfer as soon as I could, but the longer I stayed in this city the more I started liking it and developed an appreciation for the city. The city’s origin and history have very much intrigued me to write about a site from Newark. I chose to write about the garbage incinerator in the Ironbound neighborhood because Ironbound, for the most part, has been advertised as a culturally rich and fun area that is the spot to go to for tourism, especially because it is close to Manhattan and is surrounded by highways and railways. However, many like myself at one time have no idea of how the community of Ironbound has been suffering from environmental justice for many years. The community’s land has been used by big-name corporations to make their products and left abandoned after they contaminated it; leaving the residents of Ironbound to suffer from the consequences of their pollution. Before this project, I stood the process of garbage disposal but it was not until now that I understood the bad impact that a garbage disposal site can have on a community. In this paper, I hope to raise awareness of the environmental injustice that minorities of Ironbound face due to Essex County and Covanta corporations building a garbage incinerator in the Ironbound.  

  1. Site Description: 

-The site I am focusing on is a garbage incinerator in Newark’s Ironbound area. The garbage incinerator is run by a company called Covanta, which launched its garbage incineration program 1990, on address 183 Raymond Blvd, Newark, NJ 07105. Covanta is a global corporation that provides waste management and incineration service. For a while, garbage burning has known to have harmful effects on human health, which makes the location of this plant in a heavily populated Newark neighborhood controversial. Garbage Incinerators were also proposed to be placed on other locations in New Jersey such as Manville, Short Hills, and Montclair. These cities just like Ironbound protested the incinerator proposal. However, unlike Ironbound, they were able to keep their neighborhoods incinerator free. The Ironbound community is almost all minority, most of which is of immigrant descent and falls under a low-income group. These two things are the main things that have allowed Essex county and Covanta corporation to take advantage of Ironbound’s residents. Since the creation of the plant, it has harmed the residents physically and emotionally. The smoke, noise and other sorts of pollution have put their health in jeopardy. Despite their status, the Ironbound community has been trying to fight the plant and has been successful at forcing the plant to make some changes, but still, the garbage incinerator is far from being clean.  

  1. Historical Question(s): 

-How did the community of Ironbound fight the plant?