(c)Ash for Trash
By Vikki Baker
After OCRRA (Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency) and Cortland County officials had met in secret for over a year, the chair of the Onondaga County Legislature and the Onondaga County executive "announced their intention" to trade garbage for incinerator ash with Cortland County.
"Mahoney acknowledged that the trash plant was built in the early 1990's after county officials promised they would never import trash to burn. But Mahoney said OCRRA has been so successful in promoting recycling that the waste-to-energy facility remains chronically under capacity" PS 8/15/13.
We have seen this before-secret meetings-(OCRRA and Covanta have been in secret negotiations for the past year) and public outrage, ( In 1996, a standing-room only crowd spoke against lifting the import ban, 1997, burning tires). Most of the legislature and the county executive have changed, but the people are still here, receiving our daily dose of poisons from this plant. (Lead, mercury, arsenic, diox- ins, and fine particulates.) Studies show that the smaller the particle, the more damage to lungs. This smaller particle, PM2, will not be regulated in older incinerators such as the one on Rock Cut Road. Once the door is opened to importation of waste to burn, we become a regional dumping ground. Covanta's incinerator in Niagara Falls imports garbage from Canada, Puerto Rico, Texas and numerous other states. Do residents really want to go down that slippery slope?
This is a 20 + year old plant and pushing all that they can into it is like beating a dead horse. In its self-promotion, the operators of this plant never mention that pollution is generated in the process. There is no amount of profit that is worth risking our health and environment. Let's create jobs from recyclables and import tourists!
Look for alerts in January as we promote recycling, waste reduction, composting and work to prevent illness and climate change.