Save the Pine Bush


BETHLEHEM: What is the future of garbage in the ANSWERS community? Come to a Solid Waste Management Plan Steering Committee to find out! The SWMP (pronounced “swamp” — isn’t that a wonderful acronym?) has met three times now. At the last meeting, held in the Bethlehem Town Hall, the City’s consultant, Clough Harbor, presented a powerpoint presentation which included an examination of Waste-to-Energy facilities or, as they are usually known as, incinerators.

The meetings are chaired by Willard Bruce, who retired last year as the director of the Department of General Services for the City of Albany. Now, Mr. Bruce has been hired by the City as a consultant. Some agendas and minutes of the meetings can be found online at (scroll to the very bottom of the page).

The members to the SWMP Planning Unit include: the City of Albany, Cohoes, Rensselaer, Watervliet; Altamont, Voorhesville, Green Island; Berne, Bethlehem, East Greenbush, Guilderland, Knox, New Scotland, Rensselaerville, and Westerlo. Information about the members of the SWMP Steering Committee were not available on the Capital Region Landfill website. Save the Pine Bush has been unable to determine who or how people were appointed to the Steering Committee. No representatives from environmental organizations were appointed, but, a representative from Allied Waste, which is by far the largest corporation to dump in the Rapp Road landfill, was appointed.

The February 10 meeting was video-taped by Elise Van Allen and the video can be viewed by going to Albany Community Television on Facebook. The representative from Watervliet complained that he did not want to listen to those people from Albany talking about the landfill, and got up and left during the public comment period. His comment seemed out of place, since the draft SWMP plan assumes that the proposed landfill expansion in the Pine Bush will be built

The issue of how best to dispose of municipal solid waste, or garbage, is very important to the Pine Bush. SPB urges more members to attend the SWMP meetings and comment about sustainable methods (reduce, reuse, recycle) verses expensive, high-tech, incineration. See meeting information below.