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College Point waste transfer station to reopen: City

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The marine transfer station on 31st Avenue and Flushing Bay is one of eight transfer stations that have been proposed for retrofitting to accommodate household garbage.

"That facility is closed, because we've been exporting the waste," Kathy Dawkins, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Sanitation, said. "That facility has to be retrofitted, it has to be redesigned and constructed."

The city has issued a request for proposals for the Queens North Shore facility and developers were expected to submit designs by Wednesday.

The Fresh Kills landfill was closed in 2001 after a six-year effort to phase out its use. At one point it was the largest landfill in the world boasting 13,000 tons of garbage delivery daily and 7 billion tons of waste disposal annually.

Dawkins said that when resurrected, the Queens North Shore facility would accommodate household waste, but she could not specify how much. The waste would be put in containers at locations such as the Queens North Shore facility and then floated on barges or transported by rail to final disposal sites.

In the Department of Sanitation's testimony on the 2005 preliminary budget, Commissioner John Doherty said a plan is almost complete to transport waste out of the city via barge or rail.

In December, the agency put out a request for proposals that sought 20-year plans for the transportation and disposal of waste from sites such as the College Point station.

Dawkins said Sanitation held public hearings on the proposed resurrection of the marine transfer stations. She was not aware of any opposition to the project.

Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who represents College Point, said he does not believe residents will protest the project because the marine transfer station is not in a residential part of town.

"It's a remote location," he said. "Everyone knows it's been there for a long time. It's one of those things we've accepted."

Bob LaPinto, a member Community Board 7, which covers College Point, said the transfer station has been closed since 2001.

"For the most part, everyone recognizes that it is there," Avella said.

If anything, he said the resurrection of the station points to a larger problem in College Point of the city's continual use of the neighborhood for citywide services, including others such as the tow pound and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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