July 29, 2009 -
In the midst of this summer's debate about superfunding Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, plans may be quietly proceeding to reopen a sanitation facility on the canal's southern end. Bids are now being accepted to refurbish the Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer Station, which has been closed since 2001. If reopened, the facility would process tons of Brooklyn garbage by dropping it into barges moored on the banks of the Gowanus.
According to the New York City Council, the Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer Station was closed when the landfill it delivered trash to - Fresh Kills on Staten Island - was phased out in 2001. This massive two-story steel shed has been decommissioned ever since, although sanitation dumptrucks still park on its upper level. Like the recently demolished sanitation depot on Kent Avenue, it is a humble, functional municipal structure.
In 2006, a new plan for New York City's trash was implemented and The Gowanus Lounge reported that the Hamilton Avenue station would "likely be recommissioned again, ensuring that a very ripe and funky smell indeed will waft through parts of Gowanus... the South Slope, Sunset Park and Red Hook." In 2008, the Department of Environmental Conservation issued a permit valid until 2013 for the facility, and in April and May of this year, numerous bid opportunities to refurbish the structure were published online. Today, construction has not yet begun at the facility, which remains a quiet refuge on this polluted industrial waterway.