Councilwoman Kepert Moves Forward Approval to Allow the Installation of an Anaerobic Digester at Long Island Compost 

Farmingville, NY- the Brookhaven Town Board meeting on October 1, 2015, the Board voted to approve a Public Hearing sponsored by Councilwoman Connie to authorize a special permit for the installation of a state-of-the-art anaerobic digester at the Long Island Compost facility on Horseblock Road in Yaphank. The project is moving forward after an agreement was reached in June of 2013 between Long Island Compost and the Brookhaven Community Coalition (BCC), a committee formed to address the odor, noise, and dust impact of the facility on the surrounding community.

As part of the agreement, Long Island Compost has agreed to build a $50 million enclosed anaerobic digester which will use microorganisms, such as bacteria, to convert food waste into renewable energy. Their digester will provide enough renewable energy to run the 62-acre facility and produce enough natural gas to power the company’s fleet of vehicles. The digester will be the first of its kind in the region to compost food waste and will revolutionize the operation of the facility, allowing for an 80% reduction in mulch on-site, which is the primary source of dust and odors.

“The installation of an anaerobic digester at Long Island Compost will significantly reduce the facility’s impact on surrounding neighborhoods while creating an efficient means of recycling food waste into renewable energy. This state-of-the-art technology will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40,000 tons annually, which is the equivalent of taking 8,125 cars off the road. It is a win for the community, and a win for the environment,” said Councilwoman Connie Kepert. “I commend the BCC and the entire community for working tirelessly toward a solution to the noise, dust, and odor from the facility.”

SMART: Save Money as You Reduce Trash! 

Everyone is for more recycling.  So why don't we recycle more as a community and generate less waste?  Simple, we have no economic incentive to do so.

SMART programs create a direct economic incentive to recycle more and to generate less waste.

In Brookhaven, residents pay for waste collection through property taxes, approximately $367 a year regardless of how much―or how little―trash they generate.  So if you are a committed recycler, or someone who can't be bothered, you pay $367 a year.  Thus, some folks are subsidizing their neighbors wastefulness. Communities with SMART programs incorporate the cost of processing garbage within the cost of each garbage bag.  These programs are simple and fair. The less individuals throw away, the fewer bags they will need, and the less they pay. Recycling is free, so SMART encourages residents to toss less into the garbage and recycle more. 

The SMART Program incorporates a number of advantages:

            Environmental Sustainability - Communities with programs in place have reported significant increases in recycling and reductions in waste, due primarily to the waste reduction incentive created by SMART. Less waste and more recycling mean that fewer natural resources need to be extracted. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture, distribution, use, and subsequent disposal of products are reduced as a result of the increased recycling and waste reduction SMART encourages. In this way, SMART helps slow the buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere which leads to global climate change.

            Economic Sustainability - SMART is an effective tool for communities struggling to cope with soaring municipal solid     waste management expenses. Well-designed programs generate the revenues communities need to cover their solid waste costs, including the costs of such complementary programs as recycling and composting. Residents benefit, too, because they have the opportunity to take control of their trash bills.

             Equity - One of the most important advantages of SMART programs are their inherent fairness. When the cost of             managing trash is hidden in taxes or charged at a flat rate, residents who recycle and prevent waste subsidize their neighbors' wastefulness. Under SMART residents pay only for what they throw away.

            It is time for Brookhaven to adopt creative programs which help the environment, are inherently fair, and give residents a choice on how much they spend or save on the disposal of their waste.

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