Marine Transfer Station

Petition to Dump the Dump!


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The Marine Transfer Station at 91st St. turns good urban planning on its head, putting a Marine Transfer Station in a densely residential neighborhood instead of an industrial zone. I oppose the site and believe it represents poor policy-making that must be reversed. If you agree, please sign the petition.

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Get regular updates just about how we can work together to defeat the Marine Transfer Station.

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We continue to fight the Marine Transfer Station and thanks to your support we’ve already accomplished:

  • Ensured zoned trash pickup is done fairly to protect the East Side;
  • Brought attention to dangers of garbage trucks in residential neighborhoods
  • following tragic death of local resident hit by a garbage truck;
  • Moved the ramp one block north to protect 35,000 children from all over the city who play at Asphalt Green in partnership with P2P and the local community;
  • Introduced air quality monitoring legislation to protect us from pollution;
  • Forced commitments from DSNY under oath to limit use to only 1,800 of the total 5,200 tons per day capacity, keeping more than 300 garbage trucks off our streets;
  • Advocated for and secured funding for guardrails on garbage trucks and other large city vehicles;
  • Advocated for and won a citywide goal of zero waste to make Marine Transfer-to-landfill obsolete by 2030;
  • Exposed high costs increasing from $93/ton to $278/ton for a total price tag of $632 million;
  • Built a three borough coalition against garbage dumps in residential neighborhoods.

I look forward to working with residents like you to find new strategies to stop the Marine Transfer Station.


Press Release

New York, NY -- Council Member Ben Kallos joined the Committee on Solid Waste Management Preliminary Budget Hearing today, where he testified on the irresponsible budgeting and bad policy of the Upper Manhattan Marine Transfer Station.  A hotly contested exchange with outgoing Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty revealed the out-of-hand costs and poor environmentalism of the old waste disposal model -- particularly the Marine Transfer Station in Upper Manhattan, which would shift from waste disposal in New Jersey to burdening Manhattan's East Side and Staten Island.

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Press Coverage
Our Town
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A new report by a group opposing the construction of the waste transfer station on the Upper East Side claims that the city’s comprehensive waste management plan is deeply flawed –the latest salvo in a battle between local residents and a city that’s struggling to adequately deal with the trash it generates.

- Read more

Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Friday, February 14, 2014

As Upper East Siders continue their campaign to upend the reopening of the E. 91st St. waste transfer station, the politicians refuse to suggest an alternative site. Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito support the five borough plan.

Read more:

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One of Mayor Bloonmberg's most promising initiatives has been the effort to give the City's river shorelines back to the people as an "emerald necklace". What better jewel for such a necklace that a pier at 91st Street and the East River that provides access to the river from the Bobby Wagner Walk and the ramp that currently bisects the Asphalt Green complex.

This pier could and should be a major destination for the citizens of Manhattan and the other boroughs. Joggers use the Bobby Wagner Walk and its southern extension, fishermen cast their lines from the Walk and there is at least one rowing club that launches six-oared boats from the Walk just east of where 96th Street feeds on the northbound FDR. There is also a kayak club that launches from Astoria, across the river. All of these activities, plus picknicking, sitting in the sun, and contemplating the majesty of Hellgate would make such a pier an instant success--and a beautiful extension of the Carl Schurz Park/Gracie Mansion complex. It would be a wonderful draw for the citizens of the City, as well as the people--rich and poor--of the Yorkville neighborhood.

This would a great opportunity to shop around the City Council as it reconsiders the SWMP.

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I am strongly opposed to the Marine Transfer Station:

I am strongly opposed to the Marine Transfer Station at 91st St. As a member of Asphalt Green and a lifelong Upper East Sider, no one cares more about protecting our neighborhood. I've championed reform of the citywide trash plan to reduce waste and support existing composting plans and believe New York City should transition from 15% to 75% recycling to match other major cities like San Francisco. 
I eager to build a broad coalition to fight the Marine Transfer Station, and all elected officials that I have had the pleasure of working with are aware of my strong stance. I believe strongly that we can get this done together -- as a community and as a city.

An Industrial Plant Does Not Belong In Any Residential Neighborhood:

The City proposes to build a massive industrial garbage facility, called a Marine Transfer Station (MTS), in the middle of our residential neighborhood. There are no other actual or proposed municipal garbage facilities anywhere in the City that are located in a residential neighborhood. The proposed MTS will be:

  • 10-stories high and cover two acres over the East River,
  • Operating 24 hours a day, six days a week (and sometimes on Sundays),
  • Capable of processing up to 5,200 tons per day,
  • Accessed by a huge ramp that will literally cut in half the Asphalt Green athletic field and playground where thousands of children from around the City play.

As many as 500 trucks a day will rumble up and down our local streets to dump garbage there. This industrialization of our community will increase our dangerous air pollution by at least 16%, increase noise levels already beyond legal limits, and irreparably harm the East River estuary, among numerous other harms.  The City admits these facts in its reports.


The Cost Of This Garbage Facility Has Skyrocketed Out Of Control:

The City’s own estimated cost of the proposed MTS has already mushroomed from $55 million to $245 million. We expect it will cost far more—up to $400 million. Why will it cost so much? The facility will be constructed from barges on the river, and be more than three times larger than is necessary for the 1500 tons of garbage it is supposed to handle. Rather than wasting our hard-earned tax dollars, the City should be spending this money on after-school programs, and teachers, police, firefighters and others who improve our quality of life.

There Are Sane Trash Solutions:

The City plans to dump garbage at the MTS and then ship that trash on barges to costly and environmentally unfriendly landfills that have not been identified yet. That multi-step, hugely expensive process, which will send “garbage barges to nowhere,” is not a sane solution. It is much more sensible to continue what the City is currently doing—transporting much of Manhattan’s residential trash in clean air vehicles directly to a “waste to energy” plant in New Jersey. The garbage is then converted to much-needed electrical energy.

That is a sane solution that preserves precious resources, and answers the City’s “borough equity” argument: other boroughs will not be absorbing Manhattan’s residential garbage that is disposed of in this way. It is not equitable to single out our residential neighborhood as the only one in the City with an industrial municipal waste facility.


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