Bloomberg Announces Plan To Solve NYC Waste Problem

New York — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday unveiled his solution to the city’s growing garbage problem, which has been debated since the Fresh Kills Landfill, Staten Island, N.Y., closed in 2001.

Bloomberg’s plan calls for trash to be shipped to eight dormant marine garbage transfer stations in four city boroughs, with a ninth transfer station to be built in Staten Island, so that each borough will have at least one site. At the transfer stations, trash will be packed and sealed into 20-foot-long metal containers and placed on river barges that would transport the containers to oceangoing ships or rail cars. Bloomberg did not specify where the trash would be shipped.

The plan also does not address concerns raised about the city’s rate cap on commercial collection. The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), Washington, D.C., and others have been asking the New York City Trade Waste Commission (TWC) for rate cap reform for several years. The rate cap has not changed since 1997, although industry costs have increased since then, according to NSWMA officials.

The mayor confessed that his plan probably will not save money in the short-term either, but it will lessen the number of trucks on city roads, thereby improving health and decreasing pollution.

The system, which would haul an estimated 14,000 tons per day of trash from the city’s 8 million residents, is expected to take two years to implement.