[GRRN] Big Apple Garbage Sentinel - Vol. 1, No. 13 - 9/23/1999
Michele Raymond (email@example.com)
Thu, 23 Sep 1999 11:12:24 -0400
>Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 09:11:34 -0400
>From: John McCrory <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Organization: Big Apple Garbage Sentinel
>Subject: Big Apple Garbage Sentinel - Vol. 1, No. 13 - 9/23/1999
>Volume 1, Number 13 September 23, 1999
>--------------------- BIG APPLE GARBAGE SENTINEL ----------------------
> | L E A D S T O R Y
> IN | * NEW YORK'S GARBAGE TRUCKS AND TRASH HEADED FOR NEW JERSEY
> THIS | -- American Ref-Fuel, Waste Management Win 1999
>ISSUE | Interim Contracts;
> | -- DOS Continues Implementing "Interim" Plan
> | Without Public Review
> | -- The 1999 Contracts: Manhattan and Staten Island
> | -- How Much Trash? How Many Trucks?
> | Let's Take Manhattan...
> | ... And Staten Island, Too
> -- Where is the Garbage Going, and How Will it Get There?
> THE COMPOST -- News Scraps on Continuing Developments
> * NYS DEC NEGOTIATING WITH WMI OVER NEW BRONX TRANSFER STATION
> * INNER CITY PRESS COMMENT TO DEC ON PROPOSED MODIFICATION
> REMINDER! - City Council Hearing on Commercial Recycling
> Tuesday, October 28th, 10:00 AM
> EDITORIAL -- John McCrory's Commentary
> * THREE DOWN AND TWO TO GO,
> Or, How to Stop Worrying and Love the Interim Plan
> SEPARATE COLLECTION -- B.A.G.S. Asks for Your Help
> (Please note that B.A.G.S. Reveille will appear next week.)
> BIG APPLE GARBAGE SENTINEL IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE KIND
> SUPPORT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION COALITION AND READERS LIKE YOU
> l e a d s t o r y
> NEW YORK'S GARBAGE TRUCKS AND TRASH HEADED FOR NEW JERSEY
> American Ref-Fuel, Waste Management Get 1999 Interim Contracts;
>With a long-term alternative to Fresh Kills nowhere in sight, and
>interstate battles over trash long faded from the headlines, the New
>York City Department of Sanitation (DOS) continues to quietly pursue
>its goal of exporting all the garbage it collects by the end of 2001,
>when state law mandates the closure of the city's only landfill.
>In about a week, the department will be two-thirds of the way to that
>After spending several months evaluating proposals from commercial
>waste firms to take more of the city's garbage off its hands, the
>department is now set to announce contracts to expand its "interim
>plans" by exporting from 3200 to 3700 tons of garbage each day from
>Manhattan and Staten Island.
>After October 1st -- just over a week from today -- the department's
>familiar white collection trucks will begin making two extra trips,
>heading across bridges and tunnels to sites in New Jersey and then back
>to the city. For the first time, New York City garbage trucks will be
>driving to facilities outside the five boroughs, resulting in almost
>300,000 extra garbage truck trips a year.
>Under the 1997 Bronx and 1998 Brooklyn interim export plans, DOS
>collection trucks have been rerouted from the city's barge stations to
>commercial transfer stations in their respective boroughs. Manhattan
>and Staten Island have no commercial transfer stations that can handle
>the department's garbage; since DOS and the Mayor have said no borough
>would handle another borough's residential garbage under the interim
>plans, the only possible destinations are outside the city limits.
>Although officials at the Department of Sanitation and in the offices
>of various elected officials have politely declined to answer questions
>about the imminent contracts, B.A.G.S. has learned from numerous
>industry sources that the department is awarding contracts to American
>Ref-Fuel and Waste Management, Inc. for the export of residential
>garbage from Manhattan and Staten Island, respectively.
>About 1,100 tons a day of garbage from Staten Island will be driven
>across the Goethals Bridge to two Waste Management transfer stations in
>Elizabeth, N.J., where it will be loaded into 20-ton tractor trailers
>for export to landfills in either Pennsylvania or Virginia.
>>From 2,200 to 2,600 tons a day of Manhattan garbage will be delivered
>to American Ref-Fuel's Newark incinerator, a.k.a. the Essex County
>Resource Recovery Facility, where it will serve as fuel for the
>"waste-to-energy" power plant. On Tuesdays, the peak day of each week,
>Manhattan could export as much as 3,100 tons.
> DOS Continues Implementing "Interim" Plan Without Public Review
>The interim contract start date is just over a week away, but the
>Department has yet to make any public announcement of the contracts.
>Like previous phases of the interim plan, this new phase involves
>another huge change in the way DOS handles the garbage it collects from
>street baskets, residences, and city agencies -- all planned and
>implemented with no public review or input.
>Sanitation hired its favorite consulting firm, HDR Engineering of White
>Plains, to perform an environmental and traffic assessment of the new
>interim export plans, however, these studies were designed and
>conducted with no public oversight.
>DOS successfully defeated a legal challenge in Brooklyn (though it is
>being appealed) that asked a judge to recognize the department's
>interim plans as modifications to its current Solid Waste Management
>Plan (SWMP). By treating the interim plans as though they are nothing
>new, DOS has apparently decided it can avoid the state-mandated process
>of environmental review, or SEQRA, that is required for any SWMP
>Instead, it is treating only its "long-term plan" as a SWMP
>modification, and is currently at work on that plan's draft
>environmental impact statement. The 1998 Draft SWMP Modification
>concerns itself only with the long-term plan, as outlined by Mayor
>Giuliani last December. Hardly anyone outside the department or the
>Mayor's office, however, believes the long-term plan is worth taking
>Are the interim export plans new or not? Anyone looking in the current
>SWMP -- from 1996 -- will not find any mention of exporting all the
>city's residential trash. Yet that is precisely the intent of the
>interim plan. The 1998 Draft SWMP Modification, which is not yet
>approved, briefly mentions the interim export plan in passing but
>focuses most of its attention on a recap of the city's recycling
>programs and the long-term export plan.
>Despite heated opposition from community groups and elected officials
>in Brooklyn, the department's interim plan to export garbage by trucks
>has met with no serious challenge in the other boroughs or from
>citywide officials. Neither of the future rivals for the 2001 Mayor's
>race, Comptroller Alan Hevesi and Public Advocate Mark Green, have even
>addressed the interim plan.
>The New York City Council, though clearly angered by Sanitation's
>reliance on truck-based export, so far seems to find its hands tied. SO
>far, there is little of the public awareness or concern it would need
>to make an issue out of the interim plans. Without intervention from
>the state or federal government, there appears to be little the Council
>can do short of removing funding for export from the department's
>budget -- a politically dicey proposition.
>New York State officials have essentially approved of the interim plan.
>For example, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has
>allowed permit modifications to transfer facilities in Brooklyn so they
>could handle more trash -- residential trash -- from that borough.
>(As reported in B.A.G.S. #11, those modifications involved removing
>recycling separation equipment from two of the company's major transfer
>stations, virtually eliminating the means for commercial recycling in
>Brooklyn and in contravention of city and state recycling laws.)
>Federal officials with the United States Environmental Protection
>Agency have chosen to focus attention on the department's controversial
>siting regulations. There are several bills in Congress that could
>allow other states to pass laws that would limit waste imports and
>could cause trouble for the city's export plans, but they are unlikely
>to become law anytime soon.
>Officials in other states have mostly ignored the interim plan, and in
>New Jersey, the state Department of Environmental Protection has
>quietly approved increases in transfer station capacity that provide
>new space for the city's residential trash -- just in time for the
>interim export plan. Local officials in nearby New Jersey
>municipalities, meanwhile, have been largely unaware of how the city's
>interim plans will imminently impact their communities.
>Finally, of course, the interim export plan has been implemented with
>little notice or sustained attention by citywide news organizations.
> The 1999 Contracts: Manhattan and Staten Island
>The 1999 phase of the interim contracts is the largest so far, adding
>as much as 3,760 average daily tons to the to the interim export plan,
>in which DOS already exports about 4,400 tons a day -- all the Bronx's
>trash plus two-thirds of Brooklyn's. By the end of this year, the
>Manhattan/Staten Island phase should be fully implemented. All that
>will be left going to Fresh Kills will be about 4,900 tons a day of
>Brooklyn and Queens trash.
>The new contracts will cost New York City from $195 million to $220
>million over three years -- in tipping fees alone. Waste industry
>experts, however, say that the tipping fees DOS will pay to American
>Ref-Fuel and Waste Management will not be the most significant new
>The new export plan will require more drivers and mechanics and involve
>driving more miles, using more gasoline, increased maintenance, and
>paying tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Port Authority's
>bridges and tunnels.
>The other obvious impact will be increased traffic: a doubling of DOS
>truck trips in Manhattan and Staten Island as drivers head to New
>Jersey instead of either a marine transfer station or the Fresh Kills
>DOS may also need to expand its truck fleet in order to maintain
>current levels of collection service in Manhattan. The city Office of
>Management and Budget recently approved shifting funds from the FY 2001
>budget to augment FY 2000 budgeted spending so the department can
>purchase $133 million in new equipment. How much of that is being spent
>on trucks, and how many trucks it would buy are unanswered questions.
> How Much Trash? How Many Trucks?
> Let's Take Manhattan...
>Currently, collection trucks take Manhattan's residential garbage
>garbage to one of its three marine transfer stations (MTS) -- at W.
>135th Street, E. 91st Street, and W. 59th Street.
>In the appendix of its June 1997 RFP for export of residential trash,
>(the "MTS-RFP"), the Department of Sanitation published helpful tables
>showing how many truck deliveries (or loads), on average, were made to
>the city's marine transfer stations for each day of the week. It also
>listed how many tons were delivered each day. This information was
>provided so bidders would be able to design a proposal that could meet
>the department's actual needs both on average and peak days of the week
>Using this data, we can make a fairly accurate estimate of how many
>tons of trash there are in Manhattan to be exported, and how many truck
>trips this will require. It can also enable us to estimate how many
>tons and trips will be involved for each day of the week, on average.
>DOS's data show that Manhattan generates about 2,660 tons of trash a
>day -- several hundred more tons that the often-cited 2,200 ton figure.
>Furthermore, the data show the amount of trash collected varies:
>higher than average from Monday to Wednesday, and declining gradually
>through the rest of the week.
>That data also show that while a daily average (not shown) of 347
>trucks deliveries are made to Manhattan's MTSs -- requiring 694 truck
>trips -- per day, the numbers for each day of the week fluctuate in the
>same manner as the tons of trash collected.
>The table below illustrates the daily pattern of truckloads and trips
>required currently, and under the new interim plan:
>DOS TRUCK TRIPS TO COLLECT/TRANSPORT GARBAGE - MANHATTAN AVERAGES
> MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN
> ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
>NUMBER OF LOADS 385 388 359 337 328 266 17
>TONS OF GARBAGE 2945 3087 2711 2512 2450 2126 127
>PRE-INTERIM TRIPS 770 776 718 674 656 532 32
>INTERIM TRIPS 1540 1552 1436 1348 1312 1064 64
>Annual TOTAL - Pre-interim: 216,419 trips; INTERIM: 432,838 trips
> Source: NYC DOS "long-term" RFP, Appendix A, Figures 71, 72, 73
>The table above shows the "Number of Loads" that are collected in
>Manhattan for each day of the week.
>Each load requires two trips -- one trip to collect garbage and go to
>the MTS, and one trip after dumping at the MTS to travel back either to
>the depot or to do another collection. "Pre-interim trips" shows the
>number of truck trips this involves now.
>"Interim Trips" shows the number of truck trips that will be required
>when the new plan is implemented next month. Under this plan, DOS's
>collection trucks will now need to make an extra trip to get to
>American Ref-Fuel's Newark incinerator, and another extra trip to get
>back to Manhattan.
> ... And Staten Island, Too
>In Staten Island, residential trash is currently driven directly to
>Fresh Kills landfill after it is collected. Exporting to the Elizabeth
>transfer stations will double the number of truck trips in the same
>manner as in Manhattan.
>Although B.A.G.S. does not have day-of-the-week breakdowns of the truck
>deliveries and tons collected for Staten Island, based on the standard
>DOS estimates of 1100 average tons per day and a productivity rate of
>8.6 tons per load for the borough, we estimate that the corresponding
>DOS TRUCK TRIPS TO COLLECT/TRANSPORT GARBAGE - STATEN ISLAND AVERAGES
> MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN
> ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
>NUMBER OF LOADS 137 139 135 124 122 104 7
>PRE-INTERIM TRIPS 274 278 270 248 244 208 14
>INTERIM TRIPS 548 556 540 496 488 416 28
>Annual TOTAL - Pre-interim: 79,872 trips; INTERIM: 159,744 trips
>When the Department of Sanitation makes its official announcement of
>the interim contracts sometime in the next few weeks, they may cite a
>single "daily average" of truck trips -- by my calculations, about 347
>for Manhattan and 128 for Staten Island. If so, those would be
>misleading numbers, for two reasons:
>First, DOS usually counts each two-trip circuit as one "round-trip."
>The result is a lower, seemingly less harmless number, but that is not
>the standard for counting traffic impacts, which instead count the
>number of to-and-from trips, or "movements."
>Second, citing a single daily average for the year obscures how the
>numbers are regularly higher on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, not
>simply on a small number of peak days that result when bad weather
>One of the next two issues of B.A.G.S will take a broader look at the
>truck impacts of each phase of the interim plan, as well as the
>cumulative truck impacts on each borough.
> Where is the Garbage Going, and How Will it Get There?
>While the Department of Sanitation and other officials of the City
>would not confirm for B.A.G.S. where the trash is going, waste industry
>sources and employees at the facilities that won the contracts were
>more forthcoming, providing the substance of this report.
>Manhattan's trash will be headed to the Essex County Resource Recovery
>Facility at 183 Raymond Boulevard in Newark, a co-generation
>incinerator operated by American Ref-Fuel. The incineration plant
>should be familiar to anyone who has driven past on the New Jersey
>Turnpike, and is located near Exit 15E. In fact, the facility's permit
>requires that trucks bringing garbage to the plant must arrive via the
>Turnpike and must use that exit.
>To get across the Hudson River, DOS will most likely send trucks from
>lower Manhattan through the Holland Tunnel, trucks from northern
>Manhattan across the George Washington Bridge, and trucks from the
>middle of the borough through the Lincoln Tunnel. According to
>Sanitation workers in Manhattan, most of the export trips will be made
>at night, after 7 PM.
>After making their way across the river, the trucks will head to the
>New Jersey Turnpike. In the case of the Holland Tunnel, this may be
>problematic, since the Port Authority is soon to begin a year-long
>reconstruction of the 12th Street connector -- a 1-mile stretch from
>the tunnel to the Turnpike -- that could cause traffic delays. The
>trucks will then need to travel south on the Newark Bay - Hudson County
>Extension to the NJ Turnpike.
>The distances from Manhattan to the incinerator are:
>Holland Tunnel: 12.5 miles
>Lincoln Tunnel: 11.2 miles
>GW Bridge: 18.0 miles
>The plan for Staten Island, also to begin in October, will send DOS
>collection trucks to Elizabeth, NJ via the Goethals Bridge.
>One of the destinations is Waste Management's "Amboy Avenue" transfer
>station at 625 S. Front Street. The other is the company's 864 Julia
>Street transfer station.* Based on New Jersey DEP's data on the
>available capacity at these transfer stations, B.A.G.S. estimates the
>deliveries will probably be evenly split between the two facilities.
>The distances from Staten Island side of the Goethals bridge to the
>Elizabeth transfer stations are:
>625 Front Street: 3 miles
>864 Julia Street: 5 miles
>When it announces the contracts sometime soon, the Department will rely
>on HDR's environmental and traffic assessments to issue a "negative
>declaration," meaning the interim plan has been judged to have no
>significant impact, and therefore will not be subject to full SEQRA
>Why is DOS, rather than an outside observer, able to determine whether
>their own plan will have an impact or not? New York State's
>environmental laws give almost any city or state agency the power to
>function as its own watchdog. With the blessing of the state DEC,
>municipal and state agencies often appoint themselves to serve as the
>"lead" agency to carry out environmental assessments on their own plans
>and projects. As a result, environmental reviews are often nothing more
>than rubber stamps of plans developed behind closed doors.
>B.A.G.S. has spent the last two months researching various aspects of
>the so-called interim garbage export plan. In a future issue we will be
>able to make a more studied assessment of the plan as a whole and its
>differing impacts on each borough and the impacts on the entire city.
>* NOTE FOR OTHER RESEARCHERS AND REPORTERS:
>The two Waste Management transfer stations in Elizabeth go by several
>names, as their ownership and operations have changed several times in
>recent years. Identifying these facilities can be confusing.
>The 625 S. Front Street facility has also been identified as "666 S.
>Front," "Amboy Avenue," "J&J Recycling," and "Dimarco."
>The 864 Julia Street facility has been identified as "White Brothers
>Trucking," and "USA Waste Transfer of NJ." It has also been called
>"Ellesor," for "Roselle" spelled backwards -- the name of the owner,
>[pronounced ro-ZEL-li] who is still involved as a Vice-president of
> t h e c o m p o s t
> NYS DEC NEGOTIATING WITH WMI OVER NEW BRONX TRANSFER STATION
> Waste Firm Seeks to Swap Unused C&D Capacity for Putrescible
>Waste Management, Inc. (WMI) is currently negotiating with the New York
>State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to modify the
>permit for its Harlem River Yard waste transfer station.
>The Harlem River Yards facility is currently permitted to receive 3000
>tons per day of putrescible garbage, according to the DOS's Final
>Scoping Document. (B.A.G.S.'s own data show the facility is actually
>permitted to receive 3,750 tons a day.)
>Commercial "putrescible" garbage refers to privately-collected trash
>from offices, hotels, restaurants, stores, and other commercial
>businesses. About 13,000 tons of putrescible trash are generated each
>day in the city -- 90 percent of which is handled at transfer stations
>within the city limits, mostly in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
>Waste Management is now seeking to make modifications to the Harlem
>River Yards permit, apparently to add 3,000 more daily tons to the
>permitted capacity. This modification has apparently prompted the State
>DEC to offer Waste Management a deal: they'll allow the increased
>capacity at Harlem River Yards in exchange for eliminating 3,000 tons
>per day of capacity at one or more of the company's other Bronx
>Earlier this month, Inner City Press's BRONX REPORTER noted that WMI
>"now claims that it is unable to comply with this condition, and asks
>to be allowed to use construction and demolition debris ("C&D")
>capacity, in addition to PSW capacity, in order to meet the 3,000 ton
>In addition, some of the putrescible capacity Waste Management is
>proposing to "exchange" is capacity the company isn't even using. For
>example, WMI offered to eliminate all 287.5 tons per day of the
>permitted capacity at its 900 E. 138th street facility -- a building
>the company is using as a maintenance center. In fact, the facility
>hasn't handled a single ton of garbage in over a year.
>If State DEC allows Waste Management an additional 3,000 tons per day
>of putrescible capacity in the Bronx in return for eliminating that
>amount of non-putrescible capacity, the company will control a total of
>around 20,000 tons per day of putrescible transfer capacity in the
>Bronx alone. Waste Management already has a near monopoly in the trash
>processing business, owning 90% of the commercial putrescible capacity
>in the Bronx, and 80% citywide.
>It is puzzling why Waste Management would want any additional capacity.
>Of the city's 27,000 tons of legally permitted capacity, WMI currently
>owns 20770.5 tons split among 11 putrescible transfer stations. What
>does a city that only produces 13,000 tons of commercial putrescible
>garbage a day need another 3,000 for?
>Or, for that matter, how could Waste Management possibly use another
>3,000 tons a day of capacity? Why, that would practically be enough to
>handle every shred of trash in the five boroughs -- commercial AND
>residential. (The "daily average" of 26,000 tons of garbage is based on
>DOS's six-day collection week; commercial transfer stations operate
>seven days a week, so 22,000 tons of daily capacity would be enough.)
>Furthermore, DOS data on the commercial waste stream from the last
>three months of 1998 show that at that time, Waste Management was only
>using about 40% of the capacity it had -- or about 9,000 tons worth.
>The Harlem River Yards site is currently being studied by DOS as a
>combination truck- and barge-receiving, rail-exporting garbage transfer
>station. "Under this scenario, a total average of 8,000 [tons per day]
>and a peak of 10,500 [tons per day] would be processed" in the
>facility, the department states in the Final Scoping Document for the
>Draft EIS of its long-term solid waste management plan.
>DOS is also evaluating another WMI site on Newtown Creek in Queens.
>That facility would be a truck-receiving, barge-export transfer station
>that would process up to 4,300 tons a day.
>Regarding the Harlem River Yards transfer station discussed above,
>Inner City Press published the following letter it sent to State DEC.
>Note that USA Waste bought Waste Management earlier this year, taking
>September 10, 1999
>VIA TELECOPIER [to 718-482-4975]
>New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
>Attn: Mr. John Ferguson
>47-40 21st Street
>Long Island City, NY 11101
>Re: Opposition to Applications by USA Waste Services of New York No.
>Dear Mr. Ferguson and others at NYSDEC:
>On behalf of Inner City Press / Community on the Move and its members
>and affiliates (collectively, "ICP"), this is a timely comment opposing
>the Applications of USA Waste Services of New York, Inc. ("USA Waste")
>for approval of a plan to purportedly reduce transfer station capacity
>and to modify its permit to construct and operate the Harlem River Yard
>Transfer Station. ICP is a Bronx-based membership organization, that
>has been active in housing, banking, health and environmental matters
>in the Bronx since 1987.
>Currently, USA Waste's ability to commence operation of yet another
>waste transfer station in the South Bronx, in the Harlem River Yards,
>is conditioned on USA Waste reducing putrescible solid waste ("PSW")
>transfer station capacity elsewhere in the Bronx by 3,000 tons per day.
>According to your agency's August 12, 1999 Notice, USA Waste now claims
>that it is unable to comply with this condition, and asks to be allowed
>to use construction and demolition debris ("C&D") capacity, in addition
>to PSW capacity, in order to meet the 3,000 ton offset requirement. The
>Notice includes a list of the facilities that the Applicant proposes to
>close or at which it proposes to reduce permit capacity.
>As you should be aware, in April 1999, a state inspector found that
>Waste Management's facility at 900 East 138th Street is actually being
>used for maintenance, not as a waste transfer station. See, e.g., New
>York Times of August 24, 1999, at B1. USA Waste uses its proposed
>"closure" of that facility to account for a purported reduction of
>287.5 tons per day of PSW. There would, in fact, be no actual
>reduction. Thus, granting these Applications and allowing USA Waste to
>commerce operations in the Harlem River Yards would result in a further
>increase in waste being transported through, and processed in, the
>South Bronx. ICP opposes the variances, and these Applications.
>ICP also urges your agency to closely inquire into USA Waste's
>purported compliance with the other condition imposed in 1997, the
>so-called "host community benefit plan." USA Waste proposes to meet
>this condition by granting $1 million to Hunts Point Multi-Service
>Center, purportedly to open an "asthma center." This purported
>compliance was barely vetted in the affected communities; housing and
>good government advocates have long questioned management at HPMSC. On
>the current record, allowing USA Waste to commerce operations in the
>HRY would have a negative impact on the South Bronx and its residents.
>There are other questions about the Applicants(s) that your agency
>should inquire into before ruling on this Application. See, for
>example, The Richmond (Va.) Times Dispatch of April 23, 1998,
>Regulators Discover Illegal Medical Waste, reporting that Virginia
>state regulators discovered illegal medical waste "in a truckload of
>bailed trash that originated in Waste Management's garbage transfer
>station in the Bronx." Note also the serious allegations of securities
>fraud that continue to swirl around Waste Management.
>This Application should not be approved. If, as should be required, USA
>Waste modifies its proposals, USA Waste's new proposals must be put out
>for further public review and public comment.
>If you have any questions, please telephone the undersigned, at (718)
>Very Truly Yours,
>Matthew Lee, Esq. Executive Director
>Inner City Press/Community on the Move
>To keep up with Bronx and Environmental Justice news, B.A.G.S.
>recommends Inner City Press's web pages:
> r e v e i l l e r e m i n d e r
>**NOTE NEW DATE AND TIME**
>TUESDAY, September 28th, 1999. 10:00 AM.
>New York City Council
>Committee on Environmental Protection
>Oversight Hearing: Status of Commercial Recycling in New York City
>Committee Room, 2nd Floor
>City Hall, Manhattan
>Prompted in part by Big Apple Garbage Sentinel's SPECIAL REPORT on the
>sorry state of commercial recycling in New York City, the City Council
>has scheduled this oversight hearing to examine why recycling in the
>commercial sector does not appear to be living up to expectations
>-- or to the law.
>The New York City Department of Sanitation, New York City Trade Waste
>Commission, representatives of the real estate industry, commercial
>waste firms and environmental advocates are among those invited to
>testify. This oversight meeting is open to the public.
>Anyone can sign up to testify when they arrive at the hearing, however,
>if you intend to testify, the committee would greatly appreciate an
>advance RSVP to Gary Altman, Legislative Counsel, at (212) 788-7210.
>The Committee also requests that you bring 30 copies of your written
>testimony to the hearing.
>This meeting was originally planned for last Friday, but was
>rescheduled due to the severe weather.
>Visit <http://garbagesentinel.org/v1/n11_SRintro.html> to read
>Big Apple Garbage Sentinel's special report, "Commercial Recycling
>Falls Between the Cracks."
> e d i t o r i a l
> THREE DOWN AND TWO TO GO
> Or, How to Stop Worrying and Love the Interim Plan
>With this third phase of the interim plan practically underway, DOS now
>only needs to find a new home for Queens garbage and the remaining
>unexported portion from Brooklyn. That last 4900 tons of trash will
>probably be taken care of in the next two years -- though predictably
>at great economic and environmental cost -- and Fresh Kills can "close"
>and assume its new life as a prospective Superfund site.
>At this point, it appears the shift to exporting the city's enormous
>volume of trash by truck is a fait accompli. The City of New York will
>soon have finished implementing an entirely new solid waste management
>plan -- one of the most significant infrastructure projects it has ever
>undertaken -- without officially altering its solid waste management
>plan. The Mayor and the Department of Sanitation, in league with state
>environmental officials, are simply ignoring New York State's solid
>waste management planning laws and their requirements of comprehensive
>-- and public -- planning.
>Whatever the plan's merits may be, it was developed in a private,
>illegitimate fashion that may yet expedite Fresh Kills's closure, but
>also throws away tremendous opportunities to reinvent how the city
>deals with its trash.
>So what of the "long-term plan," which the city is officially treating
>as a real SWMP modification? The Department of Sanitation will probably
>publish its draft environmental impact statement within the next few
>months, but what real incentives exist to follow through on that plan,
>which has no strong constituency of supporters?
>One-fifth of the city's land is landfill; it would seem the thick books
>of discarded long-term plans make up a good deal of that. On the other
>hand, Mayor Giuliani's long-term plan, already discarded, was only 13
>pages. So you can't say the Mayor isn't paying any attention to waste
>prevention. Unfortunately for New York, that seems to be the extent of
>Will the city even bother to pursue the long-term plan? Or will New
>Yorkers simply shrug off the doubling of garbage truck traffic and the
>tripling of the DOS budget? Will most New Yorkers even notice? Inured
>as we can be most of the time to the ubiquitous trash in our streets,
>even the most hardened New Yorker can't ignore the trash all of the
>time. Particularly on pungent days in July and August, which next year,
>happens to be election season.
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>---------------------------- THE FINE PRINT ---------------------------
>B.A.G.S. is published fortnightly by John McCrory and distributed by
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