By Cathleen Twardzik
The situation regarding the waste transfer station at Brickbottom, just off McGrath Highway, has been adjusted.
The original plan was that the city would “terminate” waste management’s lease of the waste transfer station on October 1, 2012. The transfer station’s “transition” of the transfer station will actually occur in July 2013.
The delay “has allowed waste management time to prepare a plan to transition off the site,” said Brad Rawson of the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD).
Among other issues, such as the existence of elevated highways in the eastern neighborhoods of Somerville, its “industrial districts are landlocked by railroads,” and the commuter rail’s engine terminal in the city is 23 acres.
While units such as the waste transfer station have proven to be an imperative portion of the region’s solid waste “infrastructure,” for multiple decades, that entity has fashioned a front for the city that is unappealing. In addition, it hinders “future investment in our community,” said Rawson.
“The MBTA has committed to opening the Green Line station at the corner of Washington Street and Joy Street by late 2016 or early 2017. We know that there is a great deal of entrepreneurial energy in Somerville, and that the life sciences industry is pushing outward from Cambridge. It is too early to tell what kind of long-term use is likely on the waste transfer site, but the commonwealth’s investment in new transit service in Brickbottom and the Inner Belt needs to be leveraged to create opportunities for Massachusetts’ residents,” according to Rawson.
“I believe that the demolition of the transfer station will lead to commercial development in the immediate neighborhood, creating jobs and increasing the tax base. A Green Line extension station is slated to be built a short walk away,” said William A. White Jr., Alderman At Large and Vice President.
“If the waste transfer station remained, I think everyone agrees that it would deter developers from coming to the area, as no one would seriously consider a major commercial or mixed use development next door to a waste transfer station,” White said.