E. 91st Street Waste Station Could Cost $554M over 20 Years, Report Says

By Mary Johnson on May 23, 2012 5:43pm 

Residents rallied recently against the East 91st Street waste transfer station they fear will stink up the popular Asphalt Green recreation center.
Residents rallied recently against the East 91st Street waste transfer station they fear will stink up the popular Asphalt Green recreation center.
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DNAinfo/Amy Zimmer

MANHATTAN — A controversial waste transfer station planned for a stretch of the East River near East 91st Street could cost the city roughly $554 million over the next 20 years, according to a new report from the city’s Independent Budget Office.

That’s more than twice what it would cost the city to maintain its current system of trucking waste to New Jersey, which the report estimates would total about $218 million over the next two decades.

The report was issued in response to a request from City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, who has been an outspoken opponent of the plan to construct a 10-story garbage facility near a densely residential neighborhood.

A representative for Lappin did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday, but at a meeting with residents back in February, she railed against the project, which she said would bring noise, traffic and foul odors to the Upper East Side.

“We do not need garbage trucks polluting our air, snarling our traffic and ruining our neighborhood,” Lappin said at the February meeting. “This dump does not belong in this residential neighborhood or any residential neighborhood.”

The project has been in the works for the past 10 years. The plan was to construct a marine transfer facility at East 91st Street that would collect waste into containers and export it from several Manhattan community districts, rather than having all the borough's trash shipped to New Jersey.

But outraged residents have been battling the plan, claiming that it will bring increased truck traffic, bad odors and air pollution to the neighborhood while costing the city hundreds of millions of dollars to build.

Several volunteers have formed a coalition, Residents for Sane Trash Solutions. Representatives for the group did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the group will be hosting a concert on Friday, June 1, to drum up support for keeping the transfer station out.

The concert will feature Caroline Sunshine and other local talent. It will be held on the field at Asphalt Green, on York Avenue and East 90th Street, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Despite the host of complaints from both Lappin and area residents, Marc LaVorgna, a spokesman for the mayor's office, said the Upper East Side station will keep more trucks off the road, which will cut down on pollution and the rates of asthma.

"Our plan is going to ensure each borough has some responsibility for its own garbage and move garbage via barges instead of trucks, reducing emissions and traffic,” he added.

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