Council Member Ben Kallos Slams Unsustainable Marine Transfer Station Costs and Environmental Impacts at Sanitation Budget Hearing


Council Member Ben Kallos Slams Unsustainable Marine Transfer Station Costs and Environmental Impacts at Sanitation Budget Hearing


New York, NY – 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 Kallos pointed out that cost of waste disposal with only four Marine Transfer Stations operational will soar by $43 million – or 12.5% – leaving the city vulnerable to even more outrageous costs upon the completion of the marine transfer stations at 91st Street and Southwest Brooklyn. The Commissioner refused to provide answers as to how much the costs will rise.


The IBO has already released a report showing that trash disposal costs would triple on the East Side exceeding $600 million over the next 20 years. Kallos also noted that personnel costs through the Marine Transfer Stations are projected to rise by 20% in FY16.


The Council Member additionally emphasized and Commissioner Garcia verified the following facts:


·         No residential waste from Manhattan currently goes to any other borough.

·         Sanitation trucks will drive from Cheslea on the West Side through residential neighborhoods to a Marine Transfer Station at 91st Street on the East Side, where garbage will be tipped, then shoveled into a compactor, then loaded into an intermodal shipping container, then loaded on a barge, then barged to Staten Island, then transfer to a Rail Car, then transferred from a Rail Car back onto a truck then to landfill or waste to energy incinerator.

·         According New York City Department of Health, the Upper East Side has worse air quality than other boroughs with highest asthma rates in the City in East Harlem, with NYCHA developments within blocks of the Marine Transfer Station at 92nd, 93rd, 94th, 98th, 99th and 100th.


 “Our city is taking us backwards, with less efficient and more expensive waste disposal that will continue to unsustainably soar in cost year after year. The Marine Transfer Stations that are being placed in residential neighborhoods will not just hurt communities. They will also divert money that could have been spent on health, schools and social services,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.


Council Member Ben Kallos previously commissioned an Independent Budget Office report on the rising costs of the Marine Transfer Station that showed waste disposal costs tripling under the new system. He also showed that capital costs had skyrocketed to more than five times original estimates.


Council Member Ben Kallos’ Opening Statement at hearing:


Thank you, Mr. Chair.


I am Council Member Ben Kallos and I represent Midtown East, Roosevelt Island and most notably the Upper East Side and East Harlem which will be harmed by the Marine Transfer Station you are building from 91st to 93rd Street on the East River.


Sanitation costs continue to soar each year, in large part because of the implementation of marine transfer stations.


These marine transfer stations, such as the one in my district at 91st St, do not just harm the public housing, parks and schools that they are placed on top of.


They also harm all New Yorkers.


Because the insidious truth is that the Marine Transfer Stations directly take funds away from our budget that could be used to support schools and social services across the city.


Last year, I exposed the fact that capital costs on the 91st St MTS have QUINTUPLED since the project began, from

$43.9 million for FY 2002-2005,

$121.8 million for FY 2008 - 2009,

$181.6 million in FY 2013 – 2014, and then

$215.1 million for FY 2014 – 2015.


The IBO showed that the projected costs of disposing of trash would TRIPLE through the 91st St. Marine Transfer Station $93/ton to $278/ton for a cost of $632.5 million over the next 20 years.



But don’t take their word for it:


The preliminary budget before you today estimates that an additional $43 million will be required to dispose of trash in FY 16 – and that is without the 91st St and Southwest Brooklyn transfer stations operational yet.


We in the City Council have set a goal of making our city sustainable and keeping it intact for the next generation. But the plan that is unfolding continues to rise in cost year after year.