City Seeking Bids for Controversial Waster Transfer Station on UES

By Ben Fractenberg on January 25, 2012 9:05pm 

Upper East Siders would rather see more money put into repairing the East River esplanade than in building a trash facility at East 91st Street, seen in the distance.
Upper East Siders would rather see more money put into repairing the East River esplanade than in building a trash facility at East 91st Street, seen in the distance.
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DNAinfo/Amy Zimmer

MANHATTAN — The city is courting bidders for the controversial East River waste transfer station at 91st Street.

The New York City Department of Design and Construction posted the request for bids on its website for the project this week.

The move follows a state appeals court's dismissal in December of an Upper East Side community group's challenge to the project.

Local residents complained that the station capable of processing up to 5,280 tons of garbage daily — which has a price tag of at least $125 million — would bring garbage trucks barreling through a dense residential neighborhood and within feet of children playing on ball fields at a popular recreation center, the Asphalt Green.

The East 91st Street garbage facility is part of the Bloomberg administration's larger plan, passed in 2006, to enable each borough to handle hauling its own trash and help the city move more garbage onto barges to cut down long-haul truck traffic.

It also aims to lessen the burden on neighborhoods that have had a disproportionate number of trash facilities.

"Moving forward on this project represents historic progress on the mayor's solid waste management plan, which will greatly improve the sustainability of our waste disposal, help fulfill the goals of PlanNYC and improve fairness across all five boroughs," a spokesman for the mayor told Crain's New York Wednesday.

Crain's reported that the project is expected to cost $190 million.

Opponents of the station said the city should not be putting out a bid before the issue is ultimately settled.

"A garbage dump doesn’t belong in a residential neighborhood, and we won’t stop fighting until the city trashes this plan," said Upper East Side City Council Member Jessica Lappin.

"We're still exploring legal options, and the environmental mitigation plan is still under review, so the city's request for bids is premature."

The community doesn't appear to be giving up anytime soon. A recent group called Residents for Sane Trash Solutions recently formed to join the fray.

 

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