Some Manhattan pols can’t help but talk trash.
As Upper East Siders build momentum in their campaign to upend the reopening of the E. 91st St. waste transfer station, the politicians are doing what politicians do: agreeing that the contentious plan might be outdated, but refusing to commit to any solution at all.
“I don’t think there should be any (waste processing) in a residential neighborhood,” said City Councilman Ben Kallos, whose district includes the waste transfer site.
“I think we can dump this dump,” the freshman lawmaker told residents on Wednesday, hours after a group called Pledge 2 Protect released a report arguing the Upper East Side transfer station would divert only 1.6% of Manhattan’s commercial trash.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer continued to skirt the issue, said the city’s primary focus should be on recycling.
“I don’t know that we need another marine transfer station,” Brewer said. “I don’t know where we’re going to put it.”
Councilman Daniel Garodnick joined Assemblymen Micah Kellner and Robert Rodriguez, state Sen. Liz Krueger and Rep. Carolyn Maloney to express their opposition to the station, but nobody at Wednesday’s meeting said just where they thought the plant ought to go.
But pleading the Fifth just won’t do, said Dick Dadey, the head of Citizens Union. Leaders who say they oppose the plan also need to point to a workable solution.
At this stage, they can’t oppose it without recommending an alternative site,” Dadey said. “To do so is ducking.”The waste transfer station, shuttered in 1999 and slated to reopen in 2016, has morphed into a political hot potato, dividing New Yorkers across racial, geographic and socio-economic lines.Mayor de Blasio supported the Upper East Side waste transfer station during the campaign and said this week he is standing by the plan.His ally, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem, has insisted the Upper East Side needs to take on its “fair share of the city’s waste burden. ”Mark-Viverito did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.