Featured Story
04/16/14 10:46am
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The Town Board continued its discussion on licensing commercial waste haulers.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The Town Board continued its discussion on licensing commercial waste haulers.

Everyone who is paid for a job hauling away waste material — even one person in a pickup truck who occasionally takes away trash — should be under the same regulations as large hauling companies.

That’s the opinion of Jon DiVello, owner of Shelter Island Environmental Services (SIES), who attended the Town Board work session Tuesday and joined its discussion on licensing commercial haulers. (more…)

Featured Story
04/09/14 8:51am
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The Town Board discussed licensing commercial waste carters.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The Town Board met to discuss several issues at its work session Tuesday.

Shelter Island has taken a step toward licensing commercial carters who take solid waste and recyclable materials off-Island. (more…)

11/13/13 8:51am

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr.discussing the town’s Solid Waste Management Plan with the Town Board Tuesday.

At Tuesday’s Town Board work session a discussion focused on the idea of licensing commercial carters who take solid waste and recyclable materials off-Island.

The idea is a “suggested alternative” in the town’s “Solid Waste Management Plan” (SWMP), a recently completed state-mandated document that must be made every 10 years outlining the management, handling and disposal of refuse by a municipality. The Town Board is now in the process of sifting through the plan, which was created by the town’s legal, highway and engineering staffs, to modify it before adopting it as its guide for the next decade.

Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. said it’s common practice for the commercial carters  to pick up material, often with recyclables mixed in with garbage, and taking it off-Island to dump it. This is a violation of a state statute that all municipalities are required to separate recyclables from garbage.

About 30 percent of Island residents use the commercial carters, according to the SWMP, with only a minimum amount of waste picked up by them going to the Recycling Center.

But that wasn’t always the case, Mr. Card said. The practice of dumping garbage with recyclables at the Recycling Center was tried by the carters on occasion, Mr. Card said, until “it came to a screeching halt” when the carters were charged contamination fees.

But the mixed materials from the Island are going elsewhere and Mr. Card noted this is clearly a violation of the state’s statute. The practice of dumping mixed materials had been done at Southold, but that’s been stopped, Mr. Card said, and now it’s being trucked farther west. “Somewhere where [the municipality] doesn’t care,” he added. “Do we care?”

Town Attorney Laury Dowd asked if the mixed materials are going off-Island, what is the town’s responsibility?

“Where’s the injury?” Supervisor Jim Dougherty asked.
“I guess you could say the environment is the injury,” Mr. Card said.

“The off-Island environment,” Mr. Dougherty responded.

“If the goal is to recycle for the betterment of the environment, that’s the injury,” Mr. Card said.

Mr. Card added that it comes back to licensing haulers here. “We’re the ones supposed to control solid waste on the Island,” he said. “If you’re not going to follow the rules and separate the recyclables, there’s possibly a fine or suspension, something along those lines.”

Councilman Paul Shepherd asked about enforcement.

Mr. Card suggested the New York State Department of Conservation could be encouraged by the town to ask for spot checks so carters would come into compliance.

Ms. Dowd said another goal of licensing the carters would be to find out exactly how much waste they’re hauling. “They know the weight,” she said. “They just don’t have to report it to us.”

She noted that over the years the amount of waste coming in to the Recycling Center has declined. “We’re assuming it ‘s going somewhere else, but we don’t have that data,” she said.

Data compiled by the SWMP showed since 2010, 2/3 of material coming into the Recycling Center is residential yard waste. Mr. Card said the facility is not set up to effectively to process this waste into saleable topsoil and mulch.

Grinding services to process the material has cost $330,000 since 2008, with the DEC picking up half the tab. The grinding service also only comes about twice a year to process the vegetative material.

But with a limited footprint at the center, a lot of space is devoted to storing the raw yard waste. Mr. Card would like to see the grinding done on an as-needed basis, which would be more efficient and free up space.

Another method of increasing revenues for the Recycling Center is to install roofing to make it more efficient to package recyclables — especially cardboard —for sale. One hope on the horizon for this is construction of structures for roof-mounted solar panels, with no cost to the town, built by Eldor Contracting Corporation, a Holtsville construction company. Another firm would pay the town a lease fee, harvest solar power and sell it to the Long Island Power authority.

The anticipated construction schedule is completion sometime next year, if LIPA agrees to deal.

The board agreed to discuss the SWMP further at future meetings.