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SUBMITTED by William Molinere (18-Mar-2013)

Letter to the Editor

Let me start by saying that I am a Native American, originally from Louisiana. The concepts of the
Creator and the Creation are very important to me. I am a resident of the Town of Arcadia. My concern
is that bringing other people’s garbage into our region may damage the Creation in the Finger Lakes
Region beyond the point of return. We don’t even know if we have reached that point already.

With all the technological advances in all areas of our lives, everything from cell phones in our pockets
to space stations orbiting the planet, we still rely on the oldest method of dealing with trash--burying
it. Really “landfill” is a misnomer since the trash is creating huge artificial hills in our glacier-created
landscape, eyesores that result in choking odors and flying trash.

In the recent draft document for the Finger Lakes Sustainability plan (www.sustainable-fingerlakes.org),
one of the 8 areas of examination is Waste and Materials Management, and yet the document is silent on
the issue of bringing other people’s trash into our region. In fact, one of the goals is to bring trash in by
train to reduce truck traffic. What if the trash did not come to our region at all?

Solid waste management officials should be looking at other ways of dealing with trash. The first
element of the solid waste hierarchy for both the US EPA and the NYS DEC is to reduce. Reducing the
amount of trash we create and must dispose of is not even on people’s radar. Beyond reducing waste,
communities should be transforming waste, recycling and composting, into new products. For example,
bio-digesters make organic waste into a useable product, a far better solution than landfilling.

It seems that local officials are not looking beyond the immediate need for revenue and seeing the long
term effects of accepting other people’s waste. The effects 50 or 100 years out are not even in their
vision. They are relying on a technology of burying waste that is only 30 years old. No one can know
what may happen in the long term.

I realize that transforming a society based on waste is beyond the best efforts of local officials and
dedicated activists. However, until we begin to talk about other solutions we can only depend on an
unproven technology.


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