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[greenyes] Fwd: [GAIA] Burning Returns to Staten Island?

From: "Gigie Cruz" <gigie.gaia@no.address>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 11:39:27 +0800

Burning Issue Returns to Staten Island
http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/7903.htm

The Department of Sanitation has quietly revived waste incineration as a possible solution to the city's mounting garbage crisis, The Post has learned.

The city is seeking proposals to build a new "energy recovery facility" on Staten Island, according to a Sanitation document released Friday.

"Energy recovery" facilities turn garbage into energy through combustion, which makes them incinerators under state regulations.

An energy recovery plant produces only about 5 percent of the pollution the old trash burners that once dotted the city did, industry experts say.

Byproducts still include emissions such as nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, and mercury.

The city closed its last incinerator in 1990 and retired Fresh Kills landfill in 2001. Garbage is now hauled out of state at a cost of $1 billion a year.

Sanitation originally sought a contractor to handle garbage on Staten Island. On Friday, the department added it was also interested in a new high-tech incinerator for the borough.

Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro is pushing an energy recovery facility proposed by Visy Paper, which currently runs a recycling plant on the island.

The facility would dry garbage for seven days in sealed containers, remove recyclables and shred the rest to burn as fuel for an adjacent recycling plant.

The company will present its plan to a City Council hearing Tuesday.

At the same meeting, Councilman Michael McMahon of Staten Island, chair of the council's Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Committee, plans to introduce a bill calling for the investigation of new energy recovery technologies.

"Let's look at these technologies, but there should be an open public process," he said.

Friday's move represents more flip-flopping by Mayor Bloomberg and Sanitation head John Doherty on the politically sensitive issue of burning garbage.

Early last year, Bloomberg said new high-tech incinerators, like the one being proposed by Visy, had to be considered. Then he backed off.

"The politics are such that it would be phenomenally difficult to site incinerators in the New York City area," he said in May 2002. "The practical aspect is incineration is not likely to be the solution."

In his weekly radio address last week, the mayor admitted he was "frustrated" with the city's garbage problem, but added, "There's . . . new technology coming out all the time. You want to never close your eyes to that and see what you can do."

Although the Visy proposal involves combustion, and Sanitation says it will consider other energy recovery technologies that burn garbage, the mayor's office insists the city will not fire up incinerators.

"The city has no intention of incinerating garbage on Staten Island," said Jordan Barowitz, a spokesperson for the mayor.

Whether called an incinerator or an energy recovery facility, activists say they'll have no part of it.

"We will not accept combustion [of garbage] on Staten Island," said Barbara Warren, of Staten Island Citizens for Clean Air and a 20-year veteran of the anti-incineration fight.

Gary Liss
916-652-7850
Fax: 916-652-0485





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