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New Trash Plan Aims To Ease Traffic – QNS.com

New Trash Plan Aims To Ease Traffic

Mayor Michael Bloomberg promoted a new Solid Waste Management Plan on Thursday, October 7, saying it will drastically reduce truck traffic and improve environmental conditions throughout the city. In Queens, the plan will redirect garbage from five private transfer stations to two re-fitted transfer stations in North Flushing and Long Island City, where trash will be carried away by barge.
"The plan reduces the number of private waste haulers truck trips by more than 600 each day and eliminates nearly three million Department of Sanitation (DOS) truck-miles on our city’s streets and highways each year," said Bloomberg. After the closure of Fresh Kills Landfill in 2001, which for years had received most of the citys residential waste via barge, garbage from Queens was distributed to five local private transfer stations that packed the garbage onto trucks for removal. The mayors plan would renovate two transfer stations in Queens to containerize garbage for transport by barge and rail to landfills outside of New York State.
The city-owned North Shore Marine Transfer Station in College Point, already in use as a garbage transfer station, will be refitted to export garbage by barge. According to DOS reports, part of the old transfer station will be demolished and replaced with a new facility, which will include an odor-reducing system and sufficient space on-site for all vehicles depositing waste at the site. The location of the other station has not yet been decided, although the mayor’s plan lists the Review Avenue Transfer Station in Long Island City as another possible site.
The mayor described the plan as a "framework" for "a long-term structure," that will take 20 years to develop. But before it can be implemented City Council must first approve the proposal. Already several City Council members from districts that would receive new transfer stations have criticized the 20-year as vague and potentially burdensome to certain neighborhoods, including Councilmember Eric Gioia, who represents Long Island City.
Some Queens residents have embraced the mayors proposal. Bob Holden, a community activist who has fought to reduce the levels of truck traffic in Western Queens, called the mayor’s proposal a "giant step forward."
"To minimize the truck traffic seems a positive step," said Holden. "I hope they find a way to eliminate the transfer stations we have here in West Maspeth and find another way."
E-mail this reporter at sarah@queenscourier.com.

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