Highlights of the 10-year Town of Oyster Bay solid waste plan
As required by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Town of Oyster Bay Public Works Department recently released a draft of their 10-year Local Solid Waster Management Plan (LSWMP). The document highlights what the town has been doing to deal with waste, what the current waste stream rates are and what future ideas the town has that they would like to implement.
One of the major subjects discussed in the plan is recycling, with the town repeatedly stating its goal is to expand the program in any way possible. The town stated that it will be hoping to increase public outreach efforts to get a higher percentage of residents participating in single-stream recycling, expand in-school recycling programs, reduce municipal office paper waste and expand cardboard and paperboard collections for both residents and businesses.
Another major aspect of the plan is further development of the Old Bethpage Solid Waste Disposal Complex, located on 101 Bethpage-Sweet Hollow Rd. The complex is the primary location where the town’s solid waste gets collected, but most of the property is currently vacant at the moment.
The town’s plan for the site will be conducted in two phases. The first “intermediate” phase is based on the concept that the leased land and current building must remain in place. It starts by expanding the current residential drop-off area on the northwest side of the complex’s entrance. The area would consolidate the drop-off facilities into one location, which would include a resident compost pick-up area, and a waste oil, paint, propane tank and e-waste drop-off area.
The second and final phase of the complex’s development will take the approach that the entire land is vacant and available to be changed. The town would like to consolidate the leased land and land clearing debris activities at the south end of the complex, and then move all other operations to the north side. The town hopes this would make the facility more organized and better coordinated.
In terms of the north side, the town could put out a request-for-proposal (RFP) to turn that part of the land into a recycling facility. The draft says the decision to pursue this would be based upon whether it would cost more to continue transferring the materials to an out-of-town recycling facility or build the proposed facility at the complex and do the recycling on-site.
Along with rearranging facilities at the complex, the other major consideration in the immediate plan is installing solar cells on the south facing slope of the landfill to reduce energy costs and save money for the town.
The idea for creating a planning document for the complex stemmed from the town’s sale of other property, and the perceived need to accommodate future land uses. As of now, any plans for development at the complex are in the early stages of debate and nothing is concrete as of now.
Food waste also had a prominent mention in the plan. The town has been looking to develop a successful food waste recovery program, and the town is considering evaluating the economic, environmental and policy drivers through a commercial pilot program. The town will also look to ask businesses if they would support separating food waste from their other solid waste.
The draft says the town will consider creating an awareness program of the benefits of growing and selling food locally because not only would it have a positive affect on the economy, according to the plan, but it would reduce processing and shipping that keep emissions high. The town is thinking about conducting a study on residential waste characterization that would give the town a better idea of how much food waste there is in the town.
The plan, which is more than 400 pages long, was first introduced to the public at the Dec. 10 town board meeting in a presentation by members of the public works department. As required by New York State, residents will have a 45-day public comment period on the draft LSWMP. The final comments will be taken on Jan. 24. All written comments are compiled and responses are developed. The draft will then change and then will be sent to the DEC for further review. The town will then vote on the final plan.
For the full plan and to send your comments, go to www.oysterbaytown.com/departments/public-works.