Our field trip to the SI waste transfer station
Yesterday we were treated to a tour of the Staten Island Transfer Station (SITS) by Tom Killeen, the Department of Sanitation’s Director of Fresh Kills. SITS is a 79,000 sq ft complex opened in 2006 and is responsible for the processing ALL of Staten Island’s residential waste. Garbage trucks arrive from all over the island, depositing garden hoses, mattresses, chicken bones and Hefty bags onto the work floor. From there, the garbage is bulldozed onto a conveyor belt, dropped into a compactor and packed into bright orange shipping containers for rail transport. The city has a 20-year contract with Republic Services (formerly Allied Waste) to haul the the garbage to the company’s landfill in Bishopville, South Carolina. This is all in accordance with New York City’s 2006 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, developed following the closure of Fresh Kills Landfill. Each borough now exports its waste.
Not too heinous a smell to report on at SITS, we’re happy to say, but we saw some amazing sights: the ballet of front loaders moving and carefully shaping piles of trash; the long orange caterpillar of the CSX-operated cargo train disappearing into the distance. Photos and video of our visit on our flickr page.