The cost of shipping the city’s trash to landfills is going through the roof, according to a study released Friday.
As the Sanitation Department opens four new waste transfer stations to process and ship trash to landfills, the price tag is zooming, the city’s Independent Budget Office said in a two-page report.
“While the long-term waste export contracts were initially expected to produce savings, it has become apparent that the long-term contracts are actually more expensive on a per ton basis than short-term contracts,” the report says.
From 2010 through 2014, the city’s annual bill for waste export hovered around $300 million.
But it climbed to $316 million in 2015 following the opening of the city’s first waste transfer station in Flushing. The bill is expected to hit $421 million by 2021 as two other transfer stations in Brooklyn and another on the Upper East Side open.
The average cost per ton under long-term contracts to export trash has increased from $63.39 in 2007 to $129.81 in 2016.
In the long run, per ton costs for the marine transfer station contracts are likely to become more stable and may even decline as DSNY increases the tonnage exported through the stations,” the report says.
“Over the next few years, however, as the remaining stations begin to operate, the city’s per-ton waste export costs will likely continue to be higher than the existing short-term contracts they replace.”
The IBO findings distressed one city official.
“New York City is just throwing money in the trash by building marine transfer stations,” said City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan).
But Sanitation Department spokesman Vito Turso said the waste transfer stations and other city investments in rail and barge-based waste export “take trucks off the road, improving air quality and slashing greenhouse gas emissions.”