Marine Transfer Station Updates
It is time to stop throwing good money after bad and the city over a billion dollars for garbage dumps that appear to be more symbolic than functional.
Bill would Increase City’s Waste Diversion and Recycling Rates
New York, NY – In order to support the City’s Zero Waste goal by 2030 and improve the city’s dismal recycling rate, legislation introduced by Council Member Kallos would require source separation to be available in any place of public accommodation with bins for trash, recycling, and compost. Additional legislation would require New York City reach its goal of Zero Waste - diverting all waste from landfills — by 2030, regardless of the next Mayor. Both bills will be introduced on April 25th at the City Council's stated meeting.
“The city has set a goal of Zero Waste by 2030 without an Executive Order or a plan to get there. Now that the city has set a goal, it is time to put into the law. The city should be looking for ways to reduce waste we send to landfills instead of wasting hundreds of millions building marine transfer-to-landfill stations,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents a Marine Transfer Station currently under construction on the border of East Harlem. “Recycling should be a habit. New Yorkers should be able to recycle whether they are home, at work, in a park, or catching a quick bite to eat. Recycling by places that offer public accommodation can and must be better.”
New York, NY – The cost of trash in New York City is soaring from $63.39 a ton in 2007 to $129.81 a ton in 2016. . Overall city spending on
waste export is increasing from an average of $300 million from 2010 to 2014 to $360 million this year to $420 million in 2021. Driving the increased spending is the long-term contracts for four Marine Transfer Stations three of which are slated to begin operations in 2018 and 2019. Both are according to a new report by the New York City Independent Budget Office.
“New York City is throwing money in the trash by continuing to build marine transfer stations. The City should save hundreds of millions of dollars a year by continuing to send all residential waste from Manhattan directly to New Jersey by truck instead of by barge through Staten Island,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.
“Over the next few years, however, as the remaining stations begin to operate, the city’s per-ton waste export costs will likely continue to be higher than the existing short-term contracts they replace.”
The IBO findings distressed one city official.
“New York City is just throwing money in the trash by building marine transfer stations,” said City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan).
But Sanitation Department spokesman Vito Turso said the waste transfer stations and other city investments in rail and barge-based waste export “take trucks off the road, improving air quality and slashing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Councilman Ben Kallos said he has written a letter to DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia requesting more information about the plan.
“The big concern that many constituents have is whether or not commercial carters as part of a franchising system would be required to dump in the neighborhoods that they pick up, or whether they might use this marine transfer station to force all the private carters who have franchises for Manhattan to dump on the Upper East Side,” Kallos said.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilman Ben Kallos, who both showed up to the vigil, spoke against the marine transfer station, saying it would only worsen the situation.
"People in the community pass on, but it should not happen because of bad public policy," Brewer said about the marine transfer station.
"The tragedy of all of this is that it won't be one private garbage truck, but hundreds an hour, driving through the side streets of the neighborhood, where they don't belong," Kallos added. "How many more deaths will it take? We need to make sure Jodi McGrath is the last person this happens to."
The death of an Upper East Side resident Tuesday morning after being struck by a city Sanitation truck at First Avenue and 92nd street was the type of tragedy our city is working so hard to avoid. My thoughts and prayers are with the victim of this tragic collision as well as her friends and family.
Unfortunately, the administration's plan to build a Marine Transfer Station -- the only such facility in a residential neighborhood -- will bring many more trucks through this dense area and make it all too likely for tragedy to repeat itself. Garbage trucks and residential neighborhoods don't mix and we must stop hundreds of trucks from driving through residential side streets that are already dangerous.
East side councilmember wants to meet every person in the district
UPPER EAST SIDE — A local community board is making a last-ditch attempt to control the impacts of a planned marine transfer station on East 91st Street and York Avenue — after years of opposition from residents failed to stop construction from starting altogether.
The Marine Transfer Station Task Force was created as an attempt to halt the project, which seems to being going full steam ahead despite much objection from the community, according to Community Board 8 chairman Jim Clynes.
"We're going to see hundreds of trucks coming into residential neighborhoods," he said. "We're looking at knowing [pollution levels] on an hour to hour, day to day basis because there are 35,000 children playing in a park near this garbage dump."
Building state-of-the-art marine transfer stations, with the extra step of cranes putting containers onto barges, has become very expensive. The total construction cost for these stations is approaching $1 billion.
"The day the Solid Waste Management Plan was passed in 2006 it was already obsolete," says Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents the neighborhoods around the 91st Street MTS.
He has joined a long line of local politicians that have taken up the cause. In a March 25 preliminary budget hearing at City Hall, he grilled DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia over rising construction costs.
I hereby request that the DEC not to renew the Air State Facility Permit for the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station in order to meet with your mission, obligations under law, to improve and protect the environment by preventing air pollution in order to enhance the health, safety, and welfare of New Yorkers, and to prevent and abate all air pollution, including hazardous particulates. The MTS will redirect waste and air pollution from out of state in order to release harmful exhaust from residential trash trucks, commercial trash trucks, tugs, equipment operating within MTS, harming air quality in a neighborhood with a hotspot, among the worst air quality in the city, where children already have high asthma rates. The DEC has a duty to put our environment and our residents over politics by not renewing this permit.
Nonetheless, City Councilman Ben Kallos is urging constituents to voice their concerns during the comment period.
"With a public comment period for the permits up for review, our community has an opportunity to make our voices heard," he said in a statement. "I urge the DEC to fulfill its mandate to protect our neighborhoods and our environment by stopping the permits for the irresponsible and ill-conceived Marine Transfer Station."
The city’s ambitious goal to send zero waste to landfills by 2030 makes two controversial garbage transfer stations — including one on the Upper East Side — unnecessary, and a waste of $390 million, a group of pols charged.
At the New York City Council Sanitation Committee FY16 preliminary budget hearing today, Council Member Ben Kallos slammed the unsustainable and rising costs of the city’s Solid Waste Management Plan—specifically the planned marine transfer stations at 91st Street and Southwest Brooklyn.
Council Member Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) came out strongly against Intro 495 this morning at a hearing on the legislation, issuing the following statement:
"Introduction 495, is not waste equity, it is waste inequity. Rather than relieving burdens on environmental justice communities, it simply creates new environmental justice communities..."
Aside from the issues of escalating cost, which are well-known, the MTS is completely unneeded. Existing MTS sites at West 135th St and West 56 St. have been taken out of service, and the one at Lincoln Ave. in the South Bronx, less than 2 miles from 91st St., is very under-utilized - at 9:30 this past Monday morning, for instance, there was not a single truck waiting to enter. There is no need to waste taxpayer money on an unnecessary and unwanted structure.
On the other hand, East Harlem and the Upper East Side have the least amount of open green space relative to population in the City; adding the platform at the MTS site for bike rentals would allow many more residents and visitors to enjoy the Esplanade. Today the nearest Citibike location is at 57th St, making it impractical given the time limit on these rentals.
Also, from Carl Schurz Park north there is not a single water fountain or toilet on the Esplanade, which puts a real damper on public enjoyment.
Finally, the cost of such a public use platform would be far less than the MTS, freeing up funds for more important repairs and construction on the Esplanade, so it could move towards the kind of space found today along the Hudson on the West Side.
I asm sure you have additional thoughts about how the MTS platform space could be used in addition to those above.
Thank you for listening.
535 East 86, 8H
The city's independent budget office says the waste transfer station being built on the Upper East Side will now cost nearly $79 million more than it's initial $554 million price tag. Ida Siegal reports.
A new study finds that the plan for an Upper East Side waste transfer station would triple its current costs to the city.
The Independent Budget Office's study says it currently costs $93 a ton to drive trash from Manhattan to New Jersey and Yonkers.
It indicates the transfer station would bring that cost to $278 per ton.
The total cost over the next 20 years would increase from $253 million to $632 million, which is actually a more expensive estimate than the budget office made two years ago when it looked at the issue.
City Councilman Ben Kallos, who requested the report, hopes the numbers will encourage Mayor Bill de Blasio to end the plan for the transfer station, which has drawn several protests over the months.
The proposed Upper East Side waste-transfer station would cost triple what the city currently pays to transport garbage through the borough, according to a study from the Independent Budget Office.
Moving garbage to New Jersey and Yonkers for incineration would cost $278 per ton through the controversial station, rather than $93 per ton, as it does now. Over the next 20 years, the city would pay $632 million to dispose of Manhattan’s trash with the new station at East 91st Street. The price tag now is $253 million.
“The per-ton export cost is higher under the MTS option due to the more costly multimodal method of transporting the waste from the transfer station to its final destination via barge and rail,” a spokesperson for the Independent Budget Office told the New York Post.
City Council member Ben Kallos of the Upper East Side requested the study in April.