On Oct. 1, the Department of Sanitation (DOS) began operating the Southwest Brooklyn Marine Transfer Station on the waterfront of Gravesend Bay near Shore Parkway and Bay 41st Street in Bensonhurst, the site where a city-owned garbage incinerator stood for decades until it was closed during the Giuliani Administration.
The station is expected to handle approximately 700-900 tons of trash a day from surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods, a DOS spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle via email. The facility will accept the trash and then load the debris on barges for shipment to an out-of-state site, according to officials.
The new plant, which took four years to construct, is part of the New York’s Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP), a plan approved by the City Council in 2006 to spread the burden of trash disposal around the five boroughs and move away from the concept of having a tiny fraction of the city’s communities bearing the responsibility.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation signed off on the plan. “The SWMP is a fair, five-borough plan to sustainably manage New York City’s waste and offer flexibility and resiliency in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency,” DOS Press Secretary Dina Montes told the Eagle.
“It provides NYC with new world class infrastructure and mandates a shift from waste export by long-haul truck to a system of marine and rail transfer stations spread throughout the five boroughs. In total, the SWMP will reduce truck traffic associated with waste export by more than 60 million miles per year, including more than 5 million miles in and around New York City. It will slash greenhouse gas emissions by 34,000 tons annually.”
Once the trash arrives at the Southwest Brooklyn station, cranes will load the containers onto barges to be transported to an intermodal facility in Elizabeth, New Jersey, owned by the company Waste Management. The containers will then be transported to a rail yard, where they will be loaded onto rail cars for transport to disposal facilities in Virginia and upstate New York.
In 2017, Waste Management was awarded a $3.3 billion contract set to last for a term of 20 years to handle trash from marine transfer stations. The contract also contains two optional 5-year extensions.