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Living Next to NYC's Trash

Article-Living Next to NYC's Trash

Ever wondered what it's like to live next to a landfill? CityLimits.org has an insightful feature that examined the reality of being a neighbor to where most of our trash ends up.

One illustrative excerpt:

"It's like nothing else in the world," Silver says of the odor from the Seneca Meadows Landfill, located more than three miles from his home in Waterloo, N.Y. "Sickly sweet. Acrid. Stomach churning, depending on what the mix of the day is. It's almost like you're smelling chemicals from a dry-cleaning establishment or what benzene smells like. It doesn't smell like something you should be breathing."

It isn't just the stink that bothers Silver and other members of the group Concerned Citizens of Seneca County, which has battled against the landfill for six years. They are also troubled by the height of the growing mound at the landfill, which at 275 feet is the tallest manmade structure for miles, and the truck traffic that hauls an average of 5,500 tons of trash to the landfill daily.

"There's a lot happening here around what I think of as an assault on this area of New York," Silver says.

New York City's Department of Sanitation collects more than 12,600 tons of material from households and institutions every day. Only about 16 percent of it gets recycled. Almost all the rest heads to one of five landfills in New York or 24 other facilities spread around Connecticut, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. The top recipient in 2014, Atlantic Waste landfill in Waverly, Va., accepted 794,000 tons of New York City refuse last year.

Read the full piece here.

TAGS: Nuisances
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