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Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County’s Local Solid Waste Management Plan, Rethinking Waste, has been issued for public review. The ten-year plan for the management of solid waste outlines how much solid waste is currently generated in Dutchess County and how much is currently recycled and reused. Rethinking Waste focuses on how to decrease the generation of solid waste and increase what is taken out of the waste stream through recycling and reuse.
Rethinking Waste is considered to be a working document, with a realistic plan for solid waste management. The three mains goals of the LSWMP are to decrease solid waste generation, increase reuse and recycling, and minimize the use of landfills for solid waste disposal.
Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro said, “The plan sets ambitious goals for reduction, reuse and recycling of solid waste in Dutchess County. We want to establish Dutchess as a statewide leader in recycling as we seek to more than double our recycling rate over the next ten years. It is critical that everyone – county government, businesses and residents – commits to the necessary steps to achieve this ambitious, yet achievable goal.”
According to the plan, 23% or 58,530 tons of materials were diverted from the waste stream through recycling in 2010, a percentage similar to the NYS recycling average. Rethinking Waste sets a goal of nearly 60% or 152,225 tons to be recycled by 2021 in Dutchess County. The Rethinking Waste document contains a detailed implementation plan outlining the steps needed to reach this recycling and reuse goal. The plan focuses on educational efforts, recycling and composting promotion, and enforcement of solid waste laws in an effort to achieve the 60% recycling goal and create a more sustainable waste system.
One way to decrease the amount of waste that needs to be incinerated or landfilled is to increase the amount that is reused and recycled. Promotion of composting of yard and food waste, which accounts for approximately 30% of our waste stream, as well as promotion of recycling of residential, commercial, institutional, construction and demolition materials has to be a priority in order to minimize waste that is disposed.
In addition to establishing goals and implementation objectives for the next ten years, Rethinking Waste provides an overview on the quantity and types of solid waste in Dutchess County, description of the current programs as well as administrative, legislative and financial solid waste structure. It includes an assessment and evaluation of the current solid waste program and provides ten-year projections for solid waste generation and recycling rates.
According to Dutchess County Solid Waste Management Director Lindsay Carille, the adoption of a solid waste management plan is only the first step in having an environmentally sound management plan. Ongoing collaboration with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), local governments, surrounding counties, licensed haulers, residents as well as businesses will be essential in tracking waste and recycling volumes, as well as finding innovative ways to decrease waste generation and increase the recycling and reuse rate.
The County, as the Solid Waste Planning Unit, is required by the NYS DEC to have an up-to-date solid waste management plan as it is a necessary and essential element in maintaining an environmentally-sound integrated solid waste management program. The last solid waste management plan was adopted in 1990 and covered a twenty-year period.
As part of the LSWMP’s approval process, the public is encouraged to review and share comments on the plan. The Rethinking Waste document is available for public review and comment for the next sixty days. The document is available online at:
www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/SolidWasteMgmt/SWindex.htm. Copies of Rethinking Waste are also available for review at several locations throughout Dutchess County including the Department of Planning and Development in the City of Poughkeepsie, the Dutchess Resource Recovery Agency in the Town of Poughkeepsie, and the Farm & Home Center in Millbrook as well as several local libraries. A complete list of locations is available at www.dutchessny.gov.
Comments can be submitted online at www.dutchessny.gov or can be mailed to Lindsay Carille, Division of Solid Waste Management, 27 High St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.
Comments can also be submitted at a public meeting to be held on February 26, 2013 at the Farm and Home Center, 2715 Route 44 in Millbrook at 7:00 pm (inclement weather date is February 28, 2013).
Following the public review period, the Dutchess County Legislature will vote to adopt the plan and it will be then submitted to the NYS DEC for final approval.
Dutchess County Legislator Ben Traudt, who serves as the Chairman of the Legislature’s Environmental Committee said, “It is time to rethink how we view ‘waste’ - we need to view solid waste not as garbage to be thrown out, but as a resource that can be recycled into new products, reused or repurposed. The Rethinking Waste document lays out a course to get us there. Many thanks to Solid Waste Management Director Lindsay Carille for her work on this plan, which incorporates the reports and findings conducted over the last few years by the Legislature.”