An intrepid group of Bronx public high school students teamed up with a teaching artist to find out how New York City decides where to put the burdensome, smelly, and dangerous facilities that make the city run—but nobody wants in their backyards. 

Turns out, there are some guidelines called Fair Share that were made a couple of decades ago to try to spread the burden of noxious facilities more evenly throughout the city. How does it work? Are communities taking on their fair share? How else could the city promote fairness?

To get the scoop on Fair Share, the crew hit the streets and interviewed sanitation workers, environmental justice advocates, an anti-waste facility neighborhood group, policymakers, policy-shakers, and Fritz Schwarz, the father of the 1989 Fair Share legislation. The crew collected their knowledge nuggets into a book that is helping community groups and others to find out how Fair Share works now, and how it could work better in the future!

Resources & Links

The Brennan Center for Justice is a non-partisan public policy and law 
institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice. Their Chief Counsel, Frederick A.O. “Fritz” Schwarz, led the City Charter Revision Commission that incorporated the Fair Share law in the late 1980s.

Brad Lander  is a member of the New York City Council representing the 39th Council District in Brooklyn. He is working on a proposal to map out city-owned facilities and related health issues online.

The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance is a non-profit city-wide membership network linking grassroots organizations from low-income neighborhoods and communities of color in their struggle for environmental justice. 

The Point CDC is a nonprofit dedicated to youth development and the cultural and economic revitalization of the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx.

Funding Support

This project was made possible by the CUNY College Now program. Additional support provided by the Bay and Paul Foundations; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and the Henry Luce Foundation.

Special Thanks

Kellie Terry-Sepulveda and Adam Liebowitz (The Point CDC), Tony Ard (Gracie Point Community Council), FAO “Fritz” Schwarz and Myrna Pérez (The Brennan Center for Justice), Brad Lander and Eric Stern (New York City Council), Sean Ansanelli, Christina Calabrese, Elizabeth Hamby, Amara Foster, Andy Kennedy, Sophie Nichols, Brindalyn Webster, The Museum of the City of New York, and Mejia family.


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Hatuey Ramos-Fermín 
  • Teaching Artist Assistant
  • Ruddy Mejia 
  • Project Lead
  • Valeria Mogilevich 
  • Project Support
  • Sam Holleran 
  • Christine Gaspar
  • CUNY College Now 
  • at Hostos 
  • Students
  • Jorge Blass 
  • Kristina Colón 
  • George Dzagali 
  • Sergio García 
  • Kelvin Guzmán 
  • Malik Herrera 
  • Dorly Ixcoy 
  • Khemilla Kedarnath 
  • Paula Laverde 
  • Malik Lynch 
  • Aldrin Martínez 
  • Stefan Needham 
  • Steven Peña 
  • Raymond Pérez 
  • Fatoumata Seck 
  • Ebony Sharon 
  • Jason Valerio
  • Program Coordinator
  • Elizabeth Wilson, 
  • Christine Coronado