Letters 05/17

Another fruitless
round at the town

It was “déjà vu all over again”
at the town of Brookhaven board
meeting last week. The hall was
filled with angry residents from the
town’s South Shore communities
telling the board that its landfill
stinks and needs to close. Over
20 years ago, we filled town hall to
plead with our representatives to
reject the landfill expansion and the
Ash for Trash deal, to protect our
air and water and to start solving
the waste problem. Twenty years
prior to that, our predecessors did
the same, but the town’s waste
management priority has always
been to make money while saddling
the next generation with the
Many towns and counties
across the country and countries
around the world have enacted
Zero Waste resolutions. They
give themselves 15 to 20 years to
come up with drastic changes in
waste management that would end
incineration and landfilling. It is a
change in attitude towards garbage
and it diverts our waste back into
the economy before it reaches the
The dark, flip side alternative is to
continue incinerating garbage, sell
the ash and spread it around. It
is a dangerous plan because ash
is inherently toxic. No means
of encapsulating it in concrete
building materials or road surfaces
will prevent its migration into every
corner and crevice of our existence.
But that is exactly what the garbage
industry has been proposing for
decades and what Supervisor Lesko
alluded to recently.
As Chief Seattle said, it will be
the end of living and the beginning
of survival.
Elizabeth Gundlach

Letter to Councilwoman Kepert
regarding landfill

I just finished the article in this week’s LI Advance concerning
Brookhaven Town’s intention of raising, yet again, the height of the
Yaphank landfill. I was impressed to see yours was the only
dissenting vote. It’s nice to know that at least one council
member is thinking long-term and resisting the modern
legislative expedient in which the mess created by the present
thoughtless generation is heaped onto the backs of our progeny.
I’ve been following this slow-motion environmental train wreck
for some time now. If you read the Advance, you may recall an
op-ed by me following the raw-feces-dumping last year.
Therefore, in addition to offering my support, I’m curious as
to whether there is any fundamental understanding in the Town
that, as you yourself noted, sooner or later the party has to come
to an end and the landfill will have to be closed. Is there any
official recognition of that fact? Has any planning whatsoever
been done? Where are they intending on putting all the garbage
when New York State finally accepts the reality of what that
heap is doing to our air and water (not to mention our vision)
and closes the place? Does anyone in authority even pause
to consider that the voluntary importation of other people’s
pollution is something most often associated with helpless
third-world economies?
Is the leadership consciously permitting the matter to grow
into crisis proportion — as if it’s not there already — so that
they can seize upon the ‘emergency’ to pursue some scheme that
they know could never make it through the council in an orderly
fashion? Or are they just praying that they will have done the
damage and be long gone from office when the reckoning time
I would very much appreciate your comments on the above,
with whatever candor your position would permit.
Brian Salzano
East Patchogue