Mayor Giuliani’s plan to close Fresh Kills landfill and export the city’s trash has prompted howls of outrage — and some eager welcomes — from activists and officials in communities that might get tons of banana peels and dirty diapers.
The city should solve its garbage problem at home and not foist its trash on communities such as Dunmore, Pa., whose landfill is being eyed by sanitation officials, said Dan Scheffler of the Sierra Club of Northeast Pennsylvania.
“It’s ironic that Mayor Giuliani doesn’t want guns imported to New York City, but he doesn’t mind exporting the city’s garbage,” said Lynn Landes of Zero Waste, a Pennsylvania environmental group.
But mayors in two nearby cities with huge trash-burning plants — Newark and Bridgeport — said they would accept New York’s garbage with open arms.
“It’s what the plant is here for,” said Chris Duby, spokesman for Mayor Joseph Ganim of Bridgeport, home to an incinerator whose owners have submitted a bid to burn tons of New York City trash.
The anger and anticipation came in reaction to the planned closing of the massive Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island by the end of 2001. The Sanitation Department recently announced it has received six bids from companies to ship garbage produced in the Bronx out of state for burning or dumping.
Three of the bids call for burning the garbage in Newark, Bridgeport or Hempstead, L.I. The others would dump the trash in Virginia or Pennsylvania landfills.
“We the people in the Ironbound will not benefit from New York City’s trash being burned here,” said June Kruszewski of the Ironbound Community Corp., a group based near Newark’s incinerator. “We don’t like it. We did not want the incinerator to begin with.”
Pennsylvania state Rep. David Argall said Schuylkill County residents feel they may be unfairly dumped on. “You can imagine the frustration my constituents feel,” he said.
But in Newark and Bridgeport, officials had the opposite reaction. Both cities receive huge payments for having the trash plants within their borders. And both signed agreements that all but bar them from restricting the flow of garbage from outside areas.
In addition, Newark and Essex County, N.J., officials said they need garbage for the American Ref-Fuel Co.
If the plant fails to receive enough garbage to operate at an efficient capacity, Essex County must dig into its own treasury to pay off investors who bought bonds that financed the plant, said Newark Business Manager Glenn Grant.
Original Story Date: 030697