New York Post UES trash transfer station would triple city’s costs: study by Michael Gartland
Transporting Manhattan’s garbage through a controversial Upper East Side waste-transfer station would cost triple what the city is now paying, according to a new study.
The findings of the Independent Budget Office provided new ammunition to opponents who have been fighting the waterfront transfer station since it was first proposed in 2006 by the Bloomberg administration.
The IBO said trash that now costs $93 a ton to ship to New Jersey and Yonkers for incineration would cost $278 a ton via the transfer station, which is under construction.
“It makes me really mad,” said Milagros Velasquez, vice president of the Holmes Towers tenants group, who lives across the street from the construction site on East 91st Street off the FDR Drive.
“That money could be used for things we more desperately need — schools, seniors, health care.”
City Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the neighborhood, requested the study in April and said he hoped the findings would be an eye-opener for the de Blasio administration, which has expressed support for the project.
“It’s a huge boondoggle,” said Kallos. “I’m hoping the administration will choose not to continue a bad plan begun under the previous administration.”
The IBO said that under current arrangements, the city could expect to pay $253 million over the next 20 years to dispose of Manhattan garbage.
The transfer station would boost that bill to $632 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,” the IBO said.
In other words, Kallos said, hauling trash directly from Manhattan to New Jersey or Yonkers makes much more sense than taking it by barge from Manhattan to Staten Island and then by rail to New Jersey.
“This is an unbiased statement of fact,” he added.
The Upper East Side transfer station was intended to more equitably distribute the burden of processing waste — instead of making poorer neighborhoods shoulder most of the weight.
Mayor De Blasio “supports the five-borough trash plan because it treats all boroughs fairly,” said spokesman Phil Walzak.
“The mayor should take a moment to look at these plans and figure out if it’s cost-effective overall,” Velasquez said.