You're all cordially invited to a press conference we're holding in just a bit (at 12:30 pm) in front of our County Office Building at 22 Market St. in Poughkeepsie-- for no further delay on a cost-saving, green-jobs, zero-waste approach to resource recovery in Dutchess...
Note-- thx to Co. Leg.'s Sandy Goldberg, Jim Doxsey, and Barbara Jeter-Jackson for recently agreeing to co-sponsor resolution drafted by yours truly for this to happen; scroll down a bit below to see actual text of this resolution; send letter to all 25 of us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get it passed...
[our Co. Leg. Environmental Committee is meeting next Thurs.; without enough support I will pull resol. #2010229]
You may recall that back on May 7th the Poughkeepsie Journal reported that, "if Dutchess County does not submit a new solid waste management plan to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation by Aug. 1, the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency might lose its operating permit next year"...
Well-- today's July 30th, Sunday is Aug. 1st, and yesterday DCRRA Ex. Dir. Bill Calogero confirmed with us that the DCRRA would be late submitting to the DEC its Solid Waste Management Plan-- he told me the DCRRA would be sharing a draft version of the plan by Aug. 13th with our County Legislature, also telling me that "if the Legislature wants to hold a public hearing on the plan they can do that"(!)...
Note- the DCRRA is not anywhere near doing due diligence to get public input on that plan-- DCRRA itself should be holding multiple public hearings on the plan-- not leaving it up to Co. Leg. to decide if there will be public hearings!...
Reminds me of July 15th DCRRA board mtg. I attended-- I sat quietly for literally hours listening, watching de-facto consensus of entire RRA board focused on nothing but filling gaping maw of wasteful incinerator...(and when mtg. was opened for public comment I was cut off after a sentence and a half)...
So again-- mark this one on your calendars-- Thurs. Aug. 19th 5 pm is the next DCRRA mtg. (96 Sand Dock Rd. in Poughkeepsie 12601-- just off Kandr Rd. next to IBM plant)-- we need dozens of you to come out for a press conference/rally at 4:30 pm right in front of the DCRRA HQ there before their monthly board meeting begins-- and then go in and participate-- during public comment portion of the DCRRA mtg.!...
Also-- I just learned this today-- Clearwater, NYPIRG, Sierra Club, Environmental Advocates of New York, Citizens Environmental Coalition (and many other organizations listed below) signed on earlier this year to an ambitious (but spot-on) New Yorkers for Zero Waste Platform 2010 statement; see--
http://www.cectoxic.org/ZeroWastePlatform2010.html (get YOUR group on board this coalition!)...
And-- anyone else hear this last Friday on WAMC?...
Fact: The city of Springfield, Mass. has saved $75,000 in just the first half of this year alone by expanding recycling to one-third of the city; it expects to save $450,000 a year through greatly expanded recycling.
["Springfield Municipal Recycling Initiative To Expand" WAMC's Paul Tuthill July 23rd]
Pass it on!...
[also-- re: zero-waste-- join 76 other Dutchess folks signed on: http://www.petitiononline.com/zeroyes !]
[note-- tune in tomorrow 8-10 am to our show on WHVW 950 AM-- local zero-waste expert Shabazz Jackson will be talking about his getting Poughkeepsie Town Board to overwhelmingly pass resolution July 7th towards new food-waste-composting operation for local businesses-- we need this all over!...(recall: mounds of organic material now being dumped @ Rhinebeck municipal property perfect for mixing with food waste to make compost)]
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From http://www.cectoxic.org/ZeroWastePlatform2010.html ...
New Yorkers for Zero Waste Platform 2010
The N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has prepared a new State Solid Waste Plan that finally recognizes that materials in our waste stream are valuable and need to be preserved. We strongly endorse its preference for waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting over disposal. The less waste we dispose of the more environmental, economic and social benefits that we will enjoy.
Unfortunately millions of tons of garbage are still being wasted by being sent for disposal in landfills or incinerators. The DEC estimates New York's recycling rate to be only 20%, far short of the 50% reduction and recycling goal to be met by 1997 under the State Solid Waste Management Act of 1988. A large portion of waste headed for disposal is recyclable (50%) or compostable (30%) material that could be processed by other means into new products.
To achieve the Plan goals we must stop trashing our resources through disposal!
* Incinerators emit toxic air emissions and produce toxic incinerator ash that needs landfilling. They also emit more CO2 than coal burning plants per MWh. Incinerators must have burnable materials and therefore compete with recycling.
* Recycling saves 4-5 times the energy an incinerator recovers.1 Incineration is not renewable energy.
To address climate change we must address waste in our society!
* For every trash bag we put at the curb, 70 bags of trash were generated by industry to make the products we buy. The production of products and packaging is associated with 44% of all greenhouse gas emissions.2
* Biodegradable materials in landfills emit methane, a gas that has 72 times the global warming potential of CO2, over 20 years.3 Landfill gas collection systems capture only about 20% of landfill gas.4
* The best strategy is to divert biodegradable organic material away from landfills and incinerators to composting. Compost provides nutrients for healthy soils and plants.
Burning and burying garbage wastes money, energy, and natural resources; it contributes to climate change and places an unfair pollution and health burden on nearby communities. Diversion saves energy and resources, and creates many more jobs in collection, processing, reuse of goods and remanufacturing of materials.
Maximizing waste reduction and diversion will dramatically decrease waste sent for disposal over time by 70%, 80%, 90% and more, enabling New York to achieve the significant benefits of a more sustainable system.
The ultimate goal should be Zero Waste being sent to Disposal or very close to it.
We call on the Governor, the NYS DEC and State Legislators to support a new sustainable direction for reducing waste, recovering resources and growing jobs as well as obtaining other benefits for New Yorkers by doing the following:
* Establish a moratorium on all new waste incinerators or combustors and expansions. This would include newer thermal technologies that are as yet unproven commercially in the US such as gasification, pyrolysis and plasma arc.
* Ban waste haulers and municipalities from sending recyclable materials for disposal, and instead require recyclables to be source separated and transported to recycling processing facilities.
* Halt all increases in capacity at the state's largest landfills.
* Require all local solid waste planning units and haulers sending garbage for disposal to demonstrate the presence of adequate programs of waste reduction, recycling and composting in the service area.
* Rapidly implement organics collection programs and develop the needed composting and anaerobic digestion infrastructure. Ban yard trimmings from disposal now and enforce. Establish a statewide ban on the disposal of food scraps by 2013.
* Require all communities to adopt incentive/disincentive programs, such as Pay-As-You-Throw, which are proven to increase diversion rates.
* Adopt Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation (also known as product stewardship) to engage manufacturers and importers in the design of products and packaging to reduce waste and toxicity and remove the burden from government and taxpayers. Producers of products and packaging must be part of the solution. 10-15% of the waste stream should be reduced through EPR measures.
* Regulate solid waste generated by all sectors - residential, commercial, institutional and industrial. Bring waste haulers and transporters under the jurisdiction of the DEC through licensing, requiring reporting of all waste and recyclable collections and disposal, and providing for oversight and compliance.
* Require local solid waste planning units to prepare plans that increase waste reduction and diversion and decrease disposal. State and local plans must decrease disposal by 50% by 2015, and 85% by 2020 for all waste streams . The implementation plans must be enforceable by DEC.
* Ensure accurate measurements of diversion and waste quantities in order to measure progress toward goals. Plan to reassess goals and progress and adjust programs under a revised 2020 statewide plan.
* Ensure that Zero Waste Programs and their greenhouse gas benefits become a substantial part of the new state Climate Action Plan and its implementation.
* Establish a secure funding stream to fund more sustainable solid waste programs over the long term and achieve job benefits and needed greenhouse gas emission reductions. Licensing fees, facility permit fees and surcharges on disposal should all be used to provide dedicated funding. A surcharge of at least $20 per ton of MSW generated could provide $5 per ton to the state for solid waste activities and $15 to local planning units to support needed recycling and composting facilities as well as educational programs.
To support this platform or for more information, contact: Barbara Warren, NY Zero Waste Alliance, project of Citizens Environmental Coalition, email@example.com or 845-754-7951/ 518-462-5527.
New York Statewide Organizations
Atlantic States Legal Foundation
Citizens' Environmental Coalition
Clean New York
Environmental Advocates of New York
New York Public Interest Research Group
Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter
Local and Regional Organizations
Capital District Branch of the New York Apollo Alliance
Concerned Citizens of Seneca County, Inc.
Concerned Citizens of Cattauragus County
Finger Lakes Citizen's for the Environment
Finger Lakes Zero Waste Coalition, Inc.
Greenwich Citizens Committee, Inc.
Jamesville Positive Action Committee
NYC Apollo Alliance
People's Environmental Network of NY
Residents For the Preservation of Lowman and Chemung (RFPLC, Inc)
Save the Pine Bush
Selkirk, Coeymans, Ravena Against Pollution (SCRAP)
Sure We Can
Sustainable South Bronx
The Solidarity Committee of the Capital District
Village Independent Democrats
American Environmental Health Studies Project
Center for Health, Environment & Justice
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
1 EPA's WARM Model.
2 A recent EPA report found that non-food products are associated with 37 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Joshuah Stolaroff, PhD worked on the EPA report and subsequently extended the analysis to include products produced abroad and consumed in the US. This white paper states total GHG emissions of products and packaging is 44%. Both reports can be accessed at www.productpolicy.org
3 IPCC, 4th Assessment Report.
4 Ibid., Working Group III, Mitigation, 10.4.2.
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[again-- send letter to all 25 of us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get this passed next Thurs.!]
WHEREAS, Dutchess County now incinerates or sends to landfills $15 million worth of materials and resources that could be recycled, including plant debris, food waste, paper, wood, ceramics, soils, metals, glass, polymers, textiles, chemicals, and various items for reuse, according to Richard Anthony Associates, and 500 new jobs could be created right here in Dutchess County if those materials were recycled instead of burned or buried, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and
WHEREAS, the cost of disposing of the Dutchess County Incinerator's 50,000 tons of toxic ash annually has doubled in recent years to three million dollars a year, according to Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency Board Chair William Conners, and
WHEREAS, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported May 7th that "if Dutchess County does not submit a new solid waste management plan to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation by Aug. 1, the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency might lose its operating permit next year," and
WHEREAS, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported May 10th last year that the Dutchess County incinerator "costs 46 percent more to operate than 13 other plants in New York and Connecticut and has debts stretching years beyond all of them," and
WHEREAS, although the Dutchess County Incinerator produces power from burning trash, the income does not come close to covering costs, and neither do the tipping fees that are among the highest in the region; in recent years, Dutchess County taxpayers have seen the county's subsidy to the Resource Recovery Agency go from $2 million to $6.3 million, with more increases expected, and
WHEREAS, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported March 7th that emissions from our county incinerator of particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen oxide have all increased over the last decade-- along with the fact that, on an annual basis, our county incinerator also creates 50,000 tons of toxic ash-- and spews 29 pounds of heavy metals (mercury/arsenic/lead/cadmium), 37 tons of sulfur dioxide, 22 tons of hydrogen chloride/hydrogen fluoride, and 3700 tons of carbon dioxide
WHEREAS, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported March 7th that "the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency recycles only 4 percent of Dutchess' 250,000 tons of garbage; little is done to encourage recycling in the county; when waste recycled by private haulers is included, the county recycling rate is only 11 percent, about half the state rate, agency figures show; an estimated 30,000 tons of paper alone go to the trash heap yearly," and
WHEREAS, the Daily Freeman reported April 28th that "Ulster County residents recycled more than 64,000 tons of materials in 2009, nearly doubling the amount diverted from the waste stream in 2005; the increase in recycling, combined with a dropoff in the amount of nonrecyclable garbage produced in the past two years, has pushed the county closer to the state goal of recycling 42 percent of the waste stream," and
WHEREAS, communities across the country like Austin, Portland, Seattle, Oakland, and many more have proven that a zero-waste approach to resource recovery can save tax dollars, create more jobs, clean up air quality, with lower carbon emissions, compared to incineration or landfilling, and
WHEREAS, the United States has lost half the carbon in its soils and half of what is buried in landfills is organics (yard trimmings, food scraps and food soiled paper); landfills are the single largest source of human-created methane gas and contribute significantly to climate change; we need to get organics out of landfills and back to the soil, and
WHEREAS, Royal Carting is starting a food-waste curbside collection demonstration project with 177 homes in Beacon; the towns of Hamilton and Wenham in Massachusetts started curbside collection of food waste this year and are saving tax dollars; here in Dutchess County Vassar and Marist colleges compost their food waste, along with many restaurants in Tompkins County, and the communities of Portland, Seattle, Boulder, Cambridge, Wegman's Supermarket and Wal-Mart in Onondaga County, NY, Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District, San Francisco, CA, Morgan Hill, CA, Dublin, CA, Alameda County, CA, Pleasanton, CA, Hutchinson, MN, Hennepin County, MN, San Leandro, CA, Union City, CA, Swift County, MN, King County, WA, Bowdoinham, ME, San Jose, CA, Newark, CA, Orange County, NC, Berkeley, CA, Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, MN, Livermore, CA, Mackinaw Island, MI, and
WHEREAS, it has repeatedly been proven across the country in these communities that food-waste curbside collection is a win-win for homeowners, businesses, and waste haulers; all end up saving money as tipping fees at compost facilities are lower than tipping fees at incinerators or landfills, and if food waste is collected regularly, trash doesn't have to be collected so often, and therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature urges the Dutchess County Solid Waste Commissioner and the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency to work together to incorporate the following in its Solid Waste Management Plan for Dutchess County submitted to the NYSDEC: to set a recycling goal for Dutchess County of 70% by 2015 and 90% by 2020, and to work with the Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors, Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, and Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency to site an eco-industrial resource recovery park and food-waste composting facilities to process source-separated organic materials, and to ensure recycling containers are placed wherever there are trash containers, and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature requests that licensed waste haulers in Dutchess County collect food waste with lower rates for clean, source-separated materials, and reuse, recycle or compost at least 50% of all materials and bulky items collected by them in Dutchess County, and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature urges the Dutchess County Solid Waste Commissioner and the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency to phase out as quickly as possible incineration or landfilling of easily recyclable materials; no compostable organics should be burned at the Dutchess County Incinerator or sent to landfills, and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature urges the Dutchess County Solid Waste Commissioner and the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency to work together to make sure that all Dutchess County all residents, businesses and institutions source-separate reusables, recyclables and compostables (including discarded food, and food contaminated paper), and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature urges the Dutchess County Director of Central Services to purchase only products with reusability, recyclability and compostability, and requests thatthe Dutchess County Department of Public Works specify in all of its contracts for major construction (e.g., roads, parks, public buildings) the use of reused, recycled and compost products; all packaging for products sold in stores in Dutchess County should be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2020, and be if further
RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Dutchess County Executive, Dutchess County Solid Waste Commissioner, Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency, Dutchess County Director of Central Services, Dutchess County Department of Public Works, and all other county departments.