Thursday, October 1, 2015

Roosevelt Island AVAC Garbage Removal System Upgrade Proposed - Existing AVAC Connection To New Cornell Tech Campus Not Feasible But Cornell Tech Rejects Plan For Independent Campus AVAC System Despite Request By Its Residential Building Developer Says Envac Representative

Image From Envac

The Manhattan Community Board 8 (CB 8) Roosevelt Island Committee September 29 meeting heard a presentation to upgrade the Roosevelt Island Automated Vacuum Collection (AVAC) garbage removal system.
Image From Envac

 According to the meeting agenda:
... A presentation by Rosina Abramson of ENVAC.   ENVAC served as consultants to the Department of Sanitation relating to the upgrade of RI's AVAC system.
Envac's Ms. Abramson is well known on Roosevelt Island being a former President and Vice President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC).

Prior to the meeting, I asked Cornell Tech:
... why it decided not to connect its high tech, energy efficient, campus with the Roosevelt Island AVAC garbage removal system?...
A Cornell Tech Spokesperson replied:
Cornell Tech met with the manufacturer of the AVAC system and consulted with the current operators of the system. The manufacturer advised us that the current system would not support the extended length necessary to reach the campus without a major and very expensive upgrade, nor was it configured to receive recycling materials. Further, due to contractual obligations, it only accepts residential waste, not commercial waste, so we concluded that even if the AVAC system was to be expanded and completely refurbished, our campus would still require trucks to remove recycling and commercial waste. Cornell Tech is committed to reducing waste as much as possible and we will keep the community updated on our plans.
During Ms. Abramson's September 29 AVAC upgrade presentation to the CB 8 Roosevelt Island Committee, the Main Street Wire editor asked:
To what extent has Cornell expressed interest or disinterest in being connected...
to the AVAC system.

Ms. Abramson replied that the current Roosevelt Island AVAC System would not work for Cornell Tech. She reported that Envac recommended a new AVAC garbage removal system for the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech campus that would be independent from the existing AVAC system but Cornell decided not to remove their garbage with a new AVAC system. Instead, Cornell Tech will remove its garbage using trucks going up and down the streets.

Here's the discussion.

Later, in response to a question from Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Alternate Delegate Helen Chirivas about Cornell Tech connecting to the AVAC system, Ms Abramson reported that Hudson Companies David Kramer, developer of the Cornell Tech campus Residential building, asked Cornell to reconsider a new AVAC system but Cornell refused.

According to Ms. Abramson the cost of the new AVAC system for Cornell Tech would be $12 million.

Here's the discussion.

I asked Mr. Kramer for a comment but he declined. Mr. Kramer is also the developer of the Roosevelt Island Hudson Related Riverwalk buildings in Southtown which uses the AVAC garbage removal system.

The Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) which represents local community groups to Cornell Tech issued this statement:
RICC is disappointed to hear that Cornell does not intend to pursue an independent AVAC system similar to that which services the rest of the Island. If anything, the prospect of greatly reducing truck traffic on our already congested, single street should have been a consideration. We hope that Cornell will rethink their position, and take the advice of both Ms. Abramson and Mr. Kramer of Hudson Related, who is the most recent adopter of the system for the Riverwalk buildings and is a full supporter of the technology, an introduce a new AVAC system to their campus.
Below is the presentation by Ms. Abramson to upgrade the Roosevelt Island AVAC system.

Part 1 - The presentation.

Part 2 - Questions and answers. Ms. Abramson reports that RIOC has not been willing to meet with Envac for over a year regarding the AVAC upgrade proposals. Also, questions about previous problem this past summer with Westview AVAC and current problem with Roosevelt Landings AVAC not working.

Part 3 - What happens if AVAC upgrade is not done?

Part 4 - Questions from CB 8 members about Rivercross AVAC, cost of upgrade and next steps.

RIOC declined comment.

Cornell Tech will be holding a Town Hall Community Update meeting tonight.