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Transfer site in Blissville draws little opposition

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Joe Conley, the chairman of Community Board 2 in Woodside, said in...

By Chris Fuchs

A waste transfer station in Blissville is to begin operating within the next few months, but unlike the one being built in Willets Point, the community knows little or nothing about it.

Joe Conley, the chairman of Community Board 2 in Woodside, said in an interview Friday that he had heard a station was being constructed near Newtown Creek — not far from two power plants that the state is building — but that the city “hasn’t told us anything.”

Construction on the facility, at 38-50 Review Ave. in Long Island City, should be completed in the next few weeks, and it is to start accepting garbage in the “next few months,” said Thomas Kunkel, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The station, which was built in 1996 by Waste Management of New York, is being renovated to store 558 tons of putrescible waste, or ordinary refuse, and 400 tons of recyclables each day, Kunkel said, before it is taken away to landfills. According to the permit, the garbage will be brought into and out of the station by truck, a stipulation that has caused concern at the community board level.

“I don’t think it has really surfaced but I know one of the things we are in favor of is transfer by rail,” said Dolores Rizzotto, the district manager of Community Board 2.

Rizzotto said that the board has thus far reserved comment on the station, but that there were indeed some worries about what environmental impact it would have on the community, which is split between residential and commercial.

The station — one of six either in operation or being built — is the city and state’s stopgap solution to the closing of the city’s only remaining landfill, Fresh Kills in Staten Island, which is to stop accepting trash in April and cease operation in December. Under the plan, begun in 1996, each borough is responsible for temporarily storing its own trash before it is taken away to out-of-state landfills. The Bronx was the first borough brought into this plan, while Queens was the last.

In recent weeks, Flushing residents and businessmen have protested the construction of the Willets Point transfer station, saying it will pollute the environment and drive down the value of their real estate. Such opposition, however, has been virtually non-existent in Long Island City, perhaps, some say, because a station has physically been there since 1996.

Reach reporter Chris Fuchs by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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