Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions


Source: Long Island Business News

Newsmaker of the week, Long Island Compost

Posted: November 8, 2011
Originally Published: October 28, 2011

Long Island Compost needs to clean up its act – fast.

If it doesn’t, the Yaphank facility that employs 180 could, in effect, be shut down.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation this week issued a letter to Long Island Compost owner modifying its permits to limit the size of mulch piles at the waste management site, prohibit storage of uncured compost and require the transfer station to be enclosed, severely restricting the type of work that can be done at the facility.

According to reports, Long Island Compost was causing serious health issues to the surrounding neighborhood. A fire broke out last year and earlier this year it was revealed that elevated levels of radiation had seeped into the groundwater beneath the facility.

Health and safety issues aside, residents also complained about a decreased quality of life – not being able to use their swimming pools in the summer or keep the windows of their homes open because of foul smells and having to use the windshield wipers in their cars to be able to see through the dust created by the facility.

The Brookhaven Community Coalition, organized by Citizens Campaign for the Environment, led the charge to get the DEC involved.

Although Long Island Compost President Charles Vigglioti said he had no prior knowledge that the DEC was planning to come down so hard on his company, the coalition over the past year sent numerous letters to the DEC, which conducted its own investigation.

“That place stunk,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the CCE.

Long Island Compost now has until Nov. 10 to argue its case against the modification plan or figure out how to be a good neighbor before the DEC in effect shuts it down.

That can’t be allowed to happen. With IRX Therapeutics leaving for Florida and Arrow Electronics’ headquarters being packed up and shipped out west, Long Island can’t afford to lose any more jobs.

It’s up to Long Island Compost to make things right.