In Our Opinion
Sep 29, 2009 | 6612 views | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Elected officials and community residents have fought Waste Management’s expansion plan tooth and nail since it was first announced.

Opponents have found a number of problems with it. What they still haven’t offered, however, is a viable solution.

It appears likely that under the WM expansion local air quality would be sacrificed in the name of long-term carbon emission reductions.

WM is planning to build a larger transfer station at its Review Avenue facility that would be able to handle twice as much garbage per day. An additional 65 trucks per day would use the facility, according to statistics confirmed by the company earlier this year.

The extra trucks would drive through industrial Maspeth, a cause of great concern for residents who oppose the expansion.

Yet to date, despite the vehement interest in the issue, alternative proposals have fallen as flat as WM’s plan itself.

These have included a rail spur connecting the existing Review Avenue station to the nearby train tracks (which could make sense, but appears unrealistic, because neither the LIRR or WM are interested), barging garbage out via Newtown Creek (which can’t work, according to WM, because the company does not meet load requirements to barge waste out) and building a rail spur from a different, nearby site (which, apparently, is not permitted to accept solid waste).

So far, the alternative approaches have made little headway. With the support of the city Sanitation Department, WM is proceeding with its expansion plan. The new facility is scheduled to begin operation in two years.

If people really want to stop this plan, they had better come up with a viable solution, one WM could actually consider, as quickly as possible.

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