Waste Management plan voted down by CB5
by Daniel Bush
Jul 14, 2009 | 2029 views | 0 0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Citing the need for a better waste management plan, Community Board 5 unanimously voted down plans for a new waste transfer station in Maspeth.

The vote came in response to plans Waste Management (WM) has to build a new waste transfer station at its existing Review Avenue facility off of Rust Street in Maspeth. WM, a company that transports New York's waste out of the city, also plans to build a second transfer site at the Maspeth rail yard.

The company would transport waste received at the new Review Avenue transfer station to the Maspeth rail yard site by truck. From there, the garbage would be loaded onto rail cars and shipped to out-of-state landfills.

The proposal would comply with the city's long term solid waste management plan (SWMP), which calls for city waste to be transferred out by rail, instead of by truck. This change is expected to reduce in-city truck miles and carbon emissions in neighborhoods like Maspeth.

WM officials have said under their plan, if waste is railed out of Maspeth instead of driven out by truck the company would decrease its oil consumption by 2,000 gallons per day.

In a presentation to the community board on July 8, Paul Kerzner, CB5's Sanitation Committee chairman, said after reviewing WM's plan his committee reached an unanimous agreement that "a better waste transport plan needs to be found."

Kerzner said the truck traffic between the new transfer station at Review Avenue and transfer site at the Maspeth rail yard would significantly increase air pollution in Maspeth. Dozens of additional trucks would be added to the roads, Kerzner said, a fact WM has admitted.

He outlined three alternative proposals. First, WM could build a rail spur from the tracks that run past its Review Avenue facility to the site itself, and then rail waste out directly from there, eliminating the need to truck it to the Maspeth rail yard, which is 1.5 miles away. Second, the company could acquire a rail-accessible site closer to its Review Avenue station.

And third, the company, whose current facility abuts Newtown Creek, could transport waste out by barge, eliminating the need to use trucks and trains altogether.

Kerzner said any one of these plans would reduce the amount of garbage trucks driving back and forth across Maspeth, and with them lower carbon emissions as well.

Congestion would only worsen if WM goes through with its proposal, Kerzner said, one that involves gaining approval from the city and state. "We are therefore opposed" to the plan, he added, "without [WM] implementing one of these three recommendations."

In a statement WM said it has been meeting with CB5 and other community stakeholders and would continue to address concerns over its plans.

"We are committed to continuing this dialog with the community and to working with the city to address the issues that have been raised," said Rachel Amar, a spokesperson for Waste Management, in a statement.

The statement did not comment on the unanimous vote against the new plan.

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