The New York City Department of Sanitation has selected Waste Management, Houston, for a $3.3 billion, 20-year contract to export waste from the Hamilton Avenue and Southwest Brooklyn marine transfer stations. This contract, which was submitted to the comptroller last week, is the final long-term waste export contract of the city’s 2006 Solid Waste Management Plan, a comprehensive, long-term plan to equitably and sustainably collect and dispose of New York City’s municipal solid waste.
“For far too long, a few communities in the five boroughs have been saturated by waste transfer stations and resulting truck traffic,” Mayor Bill de Blasio says. “We are taking a huge step in shifting the burden away from those communities. When these stations are fully up and running, overburdened communities will breathe easier knowing 200 fewer trucks per day will be carrying trash through Brooklyn.”
The Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) is a five-borough plan that will handle New York City’s waste and offer flexibility and resiliency in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency. The plan provides NYC with new infrastructure and mandates a switch from reliance on long-haul trucking to a system of marine and rail transfer stations spread throughout the five boroughs. Full implementation of the plan is designed to reduce annual truck travel by more than 60 million miles, including more than 5 million miles in and around New York City, and will cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste transport by more 34,000 tons annually.
The SWMP includes areas such as North Brooklyn, the South Bronx and Southeast Queens. The opening of the Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer Station later this year will redirect approximately 1,600 tons of refuse per day and 200 DSNY trucks per day from private land-based transfer stations in environmental justice areas in Brooklyn, including 780 tons per day and 100 trucks per day from North Brooklyn alone. The Southwest Brooklyn Marine Transfer Station will further redistribute the burden of waste when it opens in 2018.
Under the terms of the contract, Waste Management will accept sealed waste containers from the Department of Sanitation at the Hamilton Avenue and Southwest Brooklyn marine transfer stations. Cranes will load the containers onto barges, which will be transported to a Waste Management-owned intermodal facility in Elizabeth, New Jersey. From there, containers will be transported to a rail yard, where they will be loaded onto rail cars for transport to their final destinations. The contract includes disposal facilities in Virginia and upstate New York. The $3.3 billion contract has an initial term of 20 years with two optional 5-year extensions.
The SWMP is supported by an environmental impact statement finding no significant adverse impacts, was overwhelmingly approved by the City Council and was authorized by the State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2006.
Waste Management owns and operates rail-based transfer stations in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx that last year exported more than 1.2 million tons of DSNY-collected municipal solid waste. The contract is subject to review by the Comptroller’s Office. The Hamilton Avenue MTS is currently scheduled to open in fall 2017.