New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Letter from New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia

Dear East Side Elected Officials and the Community Advisory Group:

Thank you for your continued advocacy and partnership in implementing the city's equitable and environmentally sustainable Solid Waste Management Plan. When fully implemented next year, this plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34,000 metric tons and reduce annual truck travel by more than 60 million miles annually.

The marine transfer stations called for in the plan are designed to be state-of­the-art facilities with negative air pressure systems, rapid roll-up doors, odor control systems, a refuse processing floor 16 feet above the water line, and the shipment of waste by barge in sealed containers. These facilities are designed to be the very best possible neighbors.

This is not the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station of years ago.

I am pleased to report that thanks to your work and more importantly the great recyclers in your community, the amount of refuse processed at the MTS will be lower than anticipated during the planning process. The E. 9st Street MTS will take residential waste collected by DSNY only in community districts 5, 6, 8 and 11. In 2003, these four community districts produced more than 720 tons per day of refuse. Last year, the same districts produced less than 540 tons per day. Simply put, less trash means fewer trucks.

Based on our most recent analysis, the number of trucks received at the facility will range from a low of 37 on Fridays in March to a peak of 63 on Tuesdays in May. On most days, the MTS will receive on between 40 and 50 trucks. In addition, approximately 8 trucks will dump litter basket waste overnight.

The E. 91 st Street MTS is designed to process 30 trucks per hour and hold up to 17 trucks on the ramp. On a peak day the facility can process all the vehicles in a little over 2 hours. As you know, there are occasions when the facility would receive more vehicles. This is particularly true after snow emergencies when collections may have been canceled for several days in a row and the department is catching up on backlogged trash.

DSNY has committed as a condition of our New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Permit not to cue on York Avenue at any time. In addition, during all operations an employee will be stationed at the base of the ramp to guide vehicles into the facility.

Moreover, DSNY collection trucks are 90 percent cleaner than just a decade ago. And we keep working to make them cleaner and more efficient every year.

We appreciate your strong advocacy for your community and will continue to hold regular meetings of the Community Advisory Group regarding the opening and operation of the facility next year, as well as on-going air monitoring, the reconstruction of the E. 91'1 Street intersection and the construction of the E. 92nd Street Ramp. In addition, thank you for your ongoing support in moving your communities toward zero waste, including enrolling buildings in the organics, e-waste, and textile collection programs.

I look forward to our continued partnership on this important matter.


Kathryn Garcia

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