FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND COMMISSIONER DOHERTY ANNOUNCE PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTATION OF SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN
City Enters Negotiation with Sims Group, Top Scoring Proposal for Operation at West 59th Street Marine Transfer Station
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty today announced that the City has entered into negotiations with the Sims Group to operate the Marine Transfer Station (MTS) at West 59th Street in Manhattan. Sims Group submitted the top-scoring proposal in an open competition to determine the best way to use the West 59th Street MTS to transfer Manhattan's waste and recyclables. Under the two-phase proposal, the MTS will be used to transfer construction and demolition debris and recyclable paper until the MTS on Manhattan's Gansevoort Peninsula is reactivated, at which time the West 59th Street MTS will be used solely to transfer Manhattan's construction and demolition debris. Right now, Manhattan has limited capacity to handle its own commercial waste, so it has to be transported by truck to transfer stations and processing plants in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
"The Solid Waste Management Plan's comprehensive review of the City's waste stream concluded that the West 59th Street MTS and the reactivated Gansevoort MTS are appropriate sites to process Manhattan's recyclables and commercial waste," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The proposal we have selected for West 59th Street meets the sustainability requirements that are in the Solid Waste Management Plan and that the construction industry is increasingly demanding."
"Much of Manhattan's construction and demolition waste now goes to transfer stations in other boroughs," said Sanitation Commissioner Doherty. "Consistent with the goals of the Solid Waste Management Plan, the implementation of this project will reduce truck trips out of Manhattan and promote the transfer of waste by barge."
By entering into negotiations to transfer Manhattan's commercial waste at West 59th Street, the City is taking an important step towards creating commercial transfer capacity in every borough, which is a critical component of the Mayor's landmark Solid Waste Management Plan. The conversion of the West 59th Street MTS and the reactivation of the Gansevoort MTS are core components of the SWMP, adopted by the City Council last July and approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) last October. This comprehensive plan will revolutionize the way that the City manages the 12,000 tons of solid waste produced every day by emphasizing waste reduction, recycling, and a sound, equitable method for each borough to handle its own waste.
The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) on January 17, 2007 that called for plans to explore uses of the West 59th Street MTS as part of the Solid Waste Management Plan. The RFP yielded six responses, and the submission from the Sims Group, which received the highest score, has been selected for negotiation. Currently, the West 59th Street MTS receives shipments of recyclable paper collected by DSNY and private carters that are transported by barge to Staten Island. The proposal calls for the Sims Group to start sharing the facility for shipping construction and demolition debris, and converting it fully for use in shipping construction and demolition debris when the Gansevoort MTS is reactivated. The proposal calls for the use of the West 59th Street MTS in its current configuration, with no changes to the facility footprint or structure. The Sims Group is the largest metal recycler in the US and the world and is also New York City's processor and marketer of curbside metal, glass and plastic.
In addition to receiving the recyclable paper that is currently shipped out of the West 59th Street MTS, the reactivated Gansevoort MTS will also receive Manhattan's recyclable metal, glass, and plastic. The trucks that now make those trips to facilities in the Bronx and Brooklyn would no longer clog bridges, tunnels and roads, reducing truck traffic and travel by 30,000 miles every year. Reactivating the Gansevoort MTS requires an amendment to the Hudson River Park Act, which must be passed by the State Legislature.
The Solid Waste Management Plan establishes a cost-effective, reliable and environmentally sound system for managing the City's waste for the next 20 years. Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler is overseeing the implementation of the SWMP through a working group that includes DSNY, the Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the Office of Management and Budget, the Law Department and the Parks Department. In August, the Mayor announced that all Bronx residential and municipal waste - approximately 2,100 tons per day - is being exported for final disposal by rail, rather than by truck. In May, Staten Island became the first borough to have household waste exported by rail rather than truck after Mayor Bloomberg reactivated the Staten Island Railroad. Staten Island exports 950 tons per day of household waste using the new rail link.
Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Vito Turso (Department of Sanitation)