A local carter has been told by Shelter Island and Southold that the next time he dumps illegally at their facilities it’s going to cost him. If it continues past that, his company will be banned.
Jon DiVello, owner of Shelter Island Environmental Services (SIES), said he’s done nothing wrong. “We have never been issued a violation concerning anything,” Mr. DiVello said.
Both Shelter Island Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. and Southold’s solid waste coordinator Jim Bunchuck have issued warnings in recent months to Mr. DiVello after they’ve found his truck operators dumping wet garbage mixed with recyclable materials.
One more instance of SIES trucks carrying mixed loads will result in monetary consequences, not warnings, said Mr. Card and Mr. Bunchuck.
On Shelter Island, SIES would be charged contamination fees — the same fees the town would have to pay if it dumped mixed loads and was caught by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In Southold, SIES would be subject to fines resulting from police ticketing. And in both cases, such action could eventually result in SIES being banned from using the facilities.
Mr. Card said on Martin Luther King’s birthday, the Southold facility was closed and workers at the Shelter Island Recycling Center observed bags of wet garbage hitting the plates and heard sounds of glass breaking.
More recently, Mr. Bunchuck said he observed a SIES truck dumping loads of yellow bags with household garbage and he tore open several to reveal that they were mixed with both solid wastes such as construction debris and recyclables.
Mr. Bunchuck said the ratio of solid waste to recyclables for carters is generally around 70:30 and said numbers he has for Mr. DiVello are 99:1.
But Mr. DiVello said there’s no accurate way to gauge how many tons of refuse he’s dumping.
“I have been dumping all my garbage and recyclables under my father’s company account at Mattituck Sanitation for the winter months,” Mr.iVello said in a written response to questions asked by the Reporter. He said he has an agreement during winter months to do so since during those months he’s doing less than 100 tons per month and it would cost him more if he didn’t combine his loads with Mattituck Sanitation.
Southold does charge less for carters with loads of more than 100 tons per month.
“In return, we give them use of our fleet and vise versa,” Mr. DiVello said about his arrangement with Mattituck Sanitation. “It helps us and helps them. I would be happy to show you weight tickets from marketable commodities at any time.
On Shelter Island there are only two commercial carters. Mr. DiVello’s competitor here, Dan Binder of Dan’s Carting & Recycling, said he has never been warned, but has been told that what he dumps will be inspected. Mr. Binder said he welcomes that process.