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Long Island issues: garbage and energy and incinerators

This kind of issue is not glamorous, though, it is integral to local politics. And, the environmental implications are what make or break our contribution to our own health, and to the next generations. Hope you will take the time to read the whole article.

(Excerpt from) Newsday
LI sees new interest in waste-to-energy plants
(This story is not available at the Newsday site anymore.)
By Jennifer Smith / jennifer.smith at newsday dot com
January 10, 2009

Burning garbage might seem as outmoded as stirrup pants and big hair — both in vogue when Long Island’s four municipal incinerators were built.

But rising fuel costs and other shifts have stirred new local interest in waste-to-energy plants, those towering burners that reduce tons of trash to heaps of ash, creating a bit of electricity along the way.

Covanta Energy Corp. wants to expand capacity by 43 percent at its flagship Westbury plant, the largest on Long Island, which is on land leased from the Town of Hempstead. The Town of Islip plans to more than double the amount of trash burned at its Ronkonkoma incinerator at MacArthur airport. That would allow it to take garbage from Brookhaven and generate enough energy for 18,000 homes by 2015.

If approved, the plans would increase local incinerator capacity by 36.5 percent and would allow an additional 642,975 tons of trash annually to be burned on Long Island instead of buried in distant landfills…

One Response

  1. I’m just wondering what these waste to modest energy plants do to the ground water as well as to the air surrounding them. It is established fact that toxic pollution does collect at these plants, usually as a result of burning vinyl and plastics. Among the pollutants is Dioxin, a by-product of burning polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other plastics. Dioxin has been linked to cancer and other health problems. I lived not far from the Islip facility at MacArthur Airport for many years, and I never remember being asked if I wanted such a facility near my home. The residents are uninformed about what is going on in their own neighborhood, and before even more garbage is burned at this facility, the residents of Holbrook, Ronknonkoma, and surrounding areas should be informed and given an opportunity to vote on increased incineration. Even though this facility is on the Eastern boundary of Islip Township, this is a very heavily populated area with houses all around the incinerator. Since Islip does not put the health of its residents first, I want to know who does?

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