Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Will Albany 'recycle' NYC's garbage plan?

Backed by a phalanx of city officials, community leaders and environmentalists, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a news conference last week to urge state legislators to authorize the construction of a marine transfer station to handle recyclable paper, metal, glass and plastic at Pier 52 on the Gansevoort Peninsula in Manhattan.

The facility would handle those recyclables generated in Manhattan that currently are trucked to facilities in the Bronx, Brooklyn and New Jersey. In doing so, the new facility would free-up capacity at an existing transfer station at 59th Street on the Hudson River to handle Manhattan's commercial waste.

The transfer station is seen as an essential part of the mayor's 20-year solid waste management plan that won approval from city council only after two years of jawboning and political compromises. But the effort is now in jeopardy, as the New York Times reported, because three Assembly members whose districts either include or are near the Gansevoort site say the city has never adequately studied alternative locations. The three are threatening to use their clout with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat who is also from Lower Manhattan, to kill it.

This battle has lots of political subplots and should be fun to watch from the sidelines.

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