There is no need or valid desire for the Dodge Road landfill expansion in the town of Carroll unless you are either the landowner selling the property, or the company hoping to buy it. We already have a tax-dollar supported county landfill that is well-equipped to take our waste.
The waste that will fill the Dodge Road landfill will not be local waste - it will be trucked in from other places in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Canada.
NIMBY applies because it is my backyard. But NIMBY - not in my back yard - shouldn't have a negative connotation. If everyone was careful about what happened in their backyard, we would have a much safer world.
Everyone should be informed and concerned about what is happening in their environment in order to be proactive, not reactive. The site manager told us that all liners leak, the question is when. When it leaks, the contaminants will get into our wells and soil. This will have a devastating effect to the quality of life to both humans and animals here, permanently.
The contaminants are naturally occurring just because it is a landfill, but lack of monitoring could add other substances illegally. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation doesn't have the monitoring manpower to assure that only the proper materials are there, especially if they are pulverized. Our town doesn't have the expertise to do it either. That means that the landfill company will be responsible for doing the monitoring. This is kind of like the fox guarding the hen-house.
The DEC website even acknowledges this fact: "Information the Department has obtained from a wide variety of sources confirms that some C&D hauling companies and site operators commonly violate the Department's regulations by accepting non-C&D waste including, but not limited to the following ..." www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/25230.html
Traffic is another issue. About 200 trucks a day will be converging here on Dodge Road in Frewsburg, but many of those trucks will have to drive along I-86, Route 60 and Route 62 to get here. These trucks will be carrying pulverized waste that we hope is just C&D material. It will fly off and land on the road, get washed into drainage ditches and become part of the soil along the way because there won't be a liner there to temporarily stop it.
We are all looking for business growth in this area. However we want a long-term growth business, not a suck-all-the-value-out-of-the-land-and-property-values-and-leave-contaminants-in-the-ground type business. C&D landfills are non-putrescible, which means they will never fully decompose. In 200 years, it will still be a mountain of junk which will have depleted the beautiful landscape, emptied homes, and decimated the wildlife and ecology.
This business will only be viable for 14.5 years, then they are done. They are not giving anything back to the community, as per their last scoping document (February 2011). This business is not here to do us any favors. They are here only to line their own pockets by ruining our natural community.
Unfortunately, we are all at risk of being taken advantage of by these opportunistic businesses. We have many small communities with vast areas of land. This is why NYS DEC Districts 8 and 9 are home to 98 percent of the state's commercial landfill space. These landfill companies do this for a living, and hope to find communities who don't have protections in place so they can't be stopped.
We have to take care of ourselves, look at the long-term and prevent the problems from starting, instead of allowing them to start and hope someone else will be able to resolve them.
Polly Hanson is a member of Carroll Concerned Citizens. She lives on Dodge Road.