Source: SILive.com: Staten Island's local paper
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The city will soon transport six to seven truckloads of possible World Trade Center remains for hand sifting at the shuttered Fresh Kills landfill, Borough President James Molinaro said yesterday.
Molinaro said he was notified by city Sanitation officials last week of the transfer in the coming weeks of some 844 cubic yards of material from a sub-basement of one of the towers. He said he was not told which one.
In a memo obtained by the Advance yesterday, authored by Deputy Mayor of Operations Edward Skyler, Skyler said the material "was excavated over the past two years from the following areas in and around the WTC site: NY State Route 9A (West Street); the Haul Road; Cedar Street; Washington Street; Vesey Street; the rooftop of Fiterman Hall, and various subterranean structures."
The hand-sifting for human remains will begin in April and be completed in early July, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), which will oversee the operation at a cost of $1.4 million.
The Skyler memo says the OCME will "utilize its forensic mobile sifting platform" at Fresh Kills.
"Anthropologists and other trained professionals will carefully evaluate and search the estimated 844 cubic yards of material gathered since December 2007 for any potential remains," the memo says. "Any potential remains recovered will proceed to OCME laboratories for further testing."
An estimated 1,123 victims who were slaughtered by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001 have not had their remains identified.
"I am sure they have located some remains for them to want to continue to hand-screen," said Molinaro.
Molinaro said he thought the examination of the material, which he said has been stored under two secured tents at Ground Zero and will be transferred in sealed containers, could help bring closure to some families.
But Lydia Mozzillo of Oakwood, who lost her firefighter son Christopher, said, "There is no closure for us. We never got Christopher back. But I know for some families there would be closure, and it would be nice if there was."
Molinaro said he believes he was notified about the decision to sift for additional remains by the Sanitation Department because "they have jurisdiction" over the landfill site.
But Councilman James Oddo (R-Mid-Island) and Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-South Shore) said they were not notified by the city, and aren't happy about it.
"No one gave me the head's up," said Oddo. "I would have appreciated it. I thought that phase of the process was over. I went to more funerals where families literally buried an empty casket. I think if a family gets something, that would help put a loved one at a final resting place."
"I was not notified," said Ignizio. "That's inappropriate. "They should have advised us and advised the Community Boards."
Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore) did not return a call seeking comment on whether she was notified.
Said Jason Post, a spokesman for the mayor's office, regarding the method of notification of the borough's elected officials: "We focused on notifying the family members of 9/11 victims."
Just thought I'd add this tidbit about the name of the place, since I believe I'm the only Islander in the comm. It is not the most fortunate of names, and doesn't mean LITERALLY.
From the Wikipedia: Fresh Kills (from the Middle Dutch word kille, meaning "riverbed" or "water channel") is a stream and freshwater estuary in the western portion of the New York City borough of Staten Island. It is the site of the Fresh Kills Landfill, formerly New York City's principal landfill.