Price Soars to Two Thirds of a Billion Dollars Over 20 Years for Trash Disposal at 91st Street Marine Transfer Station, Says Independent Report

Costs will triple to $278 Per Ton Versus Interim Plan
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New York, NY --  Skyrocketing costs of waste disposal at the 91st St. Marine Transfer Station have shot up to $632.5 million over a 20-year period, nearly three times the amount of the current waste disposal method, according to an independent report released today. The Independent Budget Office (IBO) issued the report in response to an April 8 letter from Council Member Kallos requesting update from a 2012 report to previous Council Member Jessica Lappin. The 2012 IBO report showed that the cost of waste disposal through the 91st St. Marine Transfer Station would be at $238/ton. It has since shot up by $40 per ton, to $278 per ton.
Export and transportation per ton has actually gone down under the interim plan—In 2012, it was estimated to a total of $90 per ton for export and transportation of trash; now, it is estimated to be a total of $82 per ton. The IBO includes $10.98 per ton or $40 million for paying out of the current contract. However, the costs could be externalized by using the construction for another purpose, such as a park, as indicated in the report. The East Side is underserved by open space, according to a 2013 New Yorkers for Parks report.

IBO Chart on MTS Costs

“The numbers don’t lie: The 91st Street Marine Transfer Station is becoming a billion dollar boondoggle,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “With $632 million, we could continue to dispose of Manhattan’s trash in New Jersey while also expanding universal pre-k, investing in better air quality for all New Yorkers, and creating a greener and fairer city. I am extremely disappointed that the city continues to waste millions on a plan that does not even achieve its aims of diverting truck routes from outer boroughs.”

Instead of being located in an industrial area, the 91st St. Marine Transfer Station is being placed in between an Olympic training ground serving 30,000 children from all five boroughs, a housing development with 1,173 units and six schools. According to a 2014 report entitled “Talking Trash,” produced by Pledge 2 Protect, less than 1% of trucks that currently go through outer boroughs would be diverted under the 91st Street Marine Transfer Station, a figure that has not been disputed by the city.

The 91st St. Marine Transfer Station was proposed by Mayor Bloomberg as part of the City’s Solid Waste Management plan in 2006 and has yet to be completed.
Download the IBO Report