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Source: Cablevision Long Island

Editorial Reply: Brookhaven’s Landfill

BY ADRIENNE ESPOSITO

Posted: March 27, 2012
Originally Published: March 27, 2012

A recent Cablevision Editorial supported the possibility of expanding the Brookhaven landfill since it serves as a regional asset. We strongly disagree.

As the editorial stated, the impact of the landfill does indeed depend on your point of view, especially when your view is at the bottom of a 260-foot mountain of garbage. Severe odors, noisy truck traffic, drifting garbage, and blowing ash are only some of the communities’ burdens.

The real question is why are we still relying on an antiquated method of garbage disposal to fund town needs. The state agrees in its recent waste management plan “Beyond Waste” that states this isn’t sustainable. We need to reduce, reuse, and recycle and move beyond dirty, polluting landfills.

True, the issue is bigger than Brookhaven, which accepts ash and waste from other towns. Managing our solid waste is an island-wide problem, yet southern Brookhaven communities have unfairly and unwillingly borne the brunt of a diminished quality of life, health problems and decreased home values.

When is enough enough? When do we get serious about managing solid waste in a way that doesn’t create mountains of garbage?

The Brookhaven Community Coalition, a diverse group of stakeholders throughout the town, has been meeting with Supervisor Lesko to discuss closing the landfill.

Recently, the discussion was changed to expand the landfill. This cash cow is almost full. Brookhaven needs to break its financial addiction to the landfill and find sustainable, alternative revenue opportunities.
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The landfill has a finite life, so let’s move beyond landfilling and let our communities breathe easy once more.

Adrienne is the executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment