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Study Shows Town of Brookhaven Recycling Down 11 Percent in 2009

2009 data has recycling at 30 percent.

A Stony Brook University study shows recycling in the Town of Brookhaven has dropped 11 percent from 1998 to 2009, down to just 30 percent.

The results of the study were announced at a press conference Tuesday morning at the Town of Brookhaven Waste Materials Recovery Facility in Yaphank.

"We have watched recycling grow to a peak in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s and now we’re seeing a gradual decline," said R. Lawrence Swanson, Director of the Waste Reduction and Management Institue in SoMAS at Stony Brook. "I think we can take that as a message that we need to be more aggressive in how we approach our citizens with regard to the importance of recycling."

Acccording to the study, Brookhaven produced 287,550 tons of waste in 2009, 3.2 pounds per person per day. Of that total, 85,730 tons were recycled while 201,820 tons were incinerated. In recycling tons, 16,737 was curbside paper, 10,310 was curbside containers, 2,1555 was bulk metal, 45,748 was yard waste and 10,780 was other recycling.

Town Supervisor Mark Lesko spoke of how important it is for Brookhaven to increase it's recycling numbers, and what the town is doing to improve those numbers.

"We launched, in the last six months or so, a very aggressive public education campaign and we’ve seen the results of that in 2011," Lesko said. "Recycling is up 10 percent in the first quarter from the end of 2010 and we think that’s very encouraging.

"For every five percent we increase recycling, we save $1 million in disposal costs and a half million in the sale of recyclables so it has a real bottom line impact...as well as being very positive for our environment."

Lesko also explained the new Recycle Bank Program, which tracks recycling in the town's 35 district's.

"It will allow residents to track the recycling rates in their collection districts and if they increase they will get certain benefits like coupons to restaurants and those sorts of thing," he said. "Hopefully we’ll get some competition going with recycle bank and start to see those rates increase."

The facility in Yaphank contains a transfer station, yard waste processing center, landfill and more and is currently undergoing a $3 million expansion.

Thomas Lynch April 21, 2011 at 02:46 AM
i got a Bookhaven recycle sticker for my regular sized trash can so i can store more cans and bottles for 2 weeks. The VERY FIRST USE the plastic trash can's wheels were bounced off and the decal was ripped diagonally on the can in half (i guess being bounced of fthe truck?) I don't want to be in the trash can supply business, so i disagree that the homeowner needs to supply recycling cans or receptical unless they will take responisiblity for the contractor's damage. Back in Buck County, PA Waste Management, or BFI or Masscaro woudl bid or be contracted by the homeowner and SUPPLY the trash cans as well the recyclying receptacles. The nice thing about that was our streets only had TRASH CANS all day in them 4 days of every 14. Here in Miller Place there are trash, cans, boxes, and bags in the street all day 2 tuesdays, 2 thursdays, and 2 weds every 14 days (6 days out of 14) or 50% more of the time. So we have trash in the streets more often, and i am storing increasing amounts of trash on a rolling 2 week period. And if i do not put the curby cans out on the mysterious EARLY morning when they usually come in the afternoon so the animals and wind do not blast y trash about, then i am storing for a month!!!!!!
Thomas Lynch April 21, 2011 at 02:49 AM
So I posted a picture of my trash stroage area for RECYCLABLES. Come and fine me for non-compliance, and I will bill you back for storage for the trash you are then mandating and forceing me to collect and save? How is this for some quick math since i am storing or preparing to store trash in 1.8% of the square footage of my taxed assessed home. hmmmmm $14,000 in total taxes times 1.8% comes to $252 per year?
G April 21, 2011 at 03:08 AM
I was complimenting you for the way you go above and beyond what the average homeowner does here on Long Island. But if the homeowner does not "follow the rules" how can the Town make them recycle? When I said I was not Pro Summons I meant it. But human nature being as it has become, will break the rules especially when they are not aware of the Waste Disposal situation that not only faces the state but the whole country. The cost of disposal is very expensive. No one wants to have an Incinerator...we all have the NIMBY syndrome, and I don't disagree. But thats why recycling is so important. So tell me, how would you go about inforcing the recycling rules?
Thomas Lynch April 21, 2011 at 04:14 AM
Brookhaven needs to fix their process or program before they should be let off easy and granted "alternative" revenue through "enforcement" which will really just be fine/revenue generation. Like gun control, cell phone rules, and traffic light camaras - sounds so right and rightious.......only the taxpaer or law abiding citizen ends up paying even more? The stick should be used AFTER the hand has been extended. I WANT to recycle and we do as uch as practical - but at some point even I stop when I can't pull my car into the garage or access parts of the garage. I start filling garbage cans....... I would be a "law breaker" if "enforcement" and not a solution is implemented? So if you just fixed my problem of infrequent collection or storage inconvienenace, our single home's trash to recycle ratio might easily shift 10% in one swoop!!!!! you can save the educaton money since i don't need to be educated on the benifits. And if you educate everybody but then they have the same complaints and issues the rest of us already converted have? You will have again wasted the education and public marketing push? its always easier to get a new customer, then get back one you pushed away previsously.
Peggy Califano April 22, 2011 at 07:54 PM
When you go recycle cans and bottles at a supermarket the area is dirty, smells and the machines always fill up with no one to empty them. It is very frustrating to recycle at the store. It's easier to throw them out , the ten dollars is not worth it

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