Gowanus: Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer Station

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.

A Glorified Shed

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.

Solitary Dumptruck

Safety Blocks

Abandoned Exhaust System

The Dropoff

View to Dumptrucks

Northern Barge Bay

Southern Barge Bay

On The Gowanus


  1. Interesting location. I can totally imagine Law & Order or something filming a scene here.

  2. ripe and funky smells, in red hook, in the summer? as if we didn't have enough already....not sure what we would do if this facility started to add to the neighborhood's seasonal olfactory loveliness...

  3. Thank YOU for alerting the community, and myself specifically to what we long were disturbed by...living downwind from the burn-off. On our cars, window sills, etc. every morning would be white & gray flakes or "sut" -- something we understood as a part of life for decades. This cannot be allowed to be planned to operate in THAT manner, again.

  4. the photo with the reflection of the water is really good! i love it. I like how you play with light and make the lines and curves sort of come out in the picture. great photography! im a fan..


  5. it will be opening within the next 2 to 3 years. there will be no burning garbage in this location due to the fact that it is illegal in nyc. trash will be dumped into barges and shipped to another location. this is part of everyday life people so get over it. if it makes you feel any better it will onl be your garbage, which means only brooklyn garbage will be dumped here

  6. Any update on an opening?