Update on Albany’s Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP)

By Tom Ellis

Sometime in January, the General Services Committee (GSC) of the Albany Common Council will hold a meeting at which the city’s solid waste consultants, Clough Harbour @ Associates (CHA) and Bill Bruce, will discuss their response to comments submitted by representatives and friends of Save the Pine Bush on the proposed long-range solid waste management plan written by the consultants. This meeting was not scheduled as of December 27. GSC Chairman Mike O’Brien said he intended to provide ten-day notice for the meeting.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) granted a request from the city for extra time — until mid-February — for the city to complete its review of the report. Despite stating at the October 25 ACC public hearing on the report that they could quickly produce a response to oral and written comments, CHA and Mr. Bruce were unable to do so, which apparently led to their request for an extension. As of December 27, CHA and Bill Bruce had not provided Mr. O’Brien with their response document.

SPB and friends objected to the primary recommendations contained in the CHA-Bruce report — to establish a large regional solid waste management authority and a large or giant-sized disposal facility — and proposed a variety of alternatives. SPB insisted that neither an authority nor a large disposal facility is needed. Written comments were sent in by Andy Arthur, Sally Cummings, Tom Ellis, Bertil Schou, James Travers, Timothy Truscott, and Barbara Warren; oral comments were made by Greg Bell, Sally Cummings, Tom Ellis, James Travers, and Russell Ziemba.

Even if the Common Council endorses the regional authority/large disposal facility concept, the battle is not lost. Both the regional authority and large disposal facility face enormous obstacles. For more information, contact Tom Ellis at 518-453-8874 or tomellis309@yahoo.com or Save the Pine Bush.

Download Save the Pine Bush’s SWMP comments here.


Published in January/February 2011 Newsletter