Waste Dive – March 9th, 2017
By Cole Rosengren
Striking a balance when it comes to the equitable siting of waste facilities is hard for any city. New York knows this better than most.
A recent report from the New York City Council on proposed updates to the city’s “Fair Share” siting criteria for municipal facilities calls the current waste transfer station situation “one of the most egregious examples of inequitable distribution.” …
Neil Seldman, director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Waste to Wealth Initiative, cited Washington, D.C. as an example. After ongoing public pressure during the late 1990s and early 2000s, the city led an effort to close multiple private transfer stations in exchange for offering haulers low rates to use two centralized municipal facilities.
Seldman said the best way to handle similar situations in other cities is open communication. Whenever new facilities are sited they should be a reasonable distance away from residential areas and also employ as many local residents as possible.
“The company that’s building or the city that’s building the facility has to have a good faith effort to work with the community,” said Seldman. “Citizens will accept these facilities with I would consider modest guidelines to protect their interests.”