© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Brookhaven Dumps Plan To Expand Landfill

Pasi Mäenpää from Pixabay

The Town of Brookhaven on Long Island has abandoned its plan to expand the region’s landfill. It is expected to reach capacity and close in 2024.

The town said the decision was based on the cost of the project.

Abena Asare, co-founder of the Brookhaven Landfill Action and Remediation Group, has sought to block the landfill’s expansion.

“When we look at the history of this issue, what we see is 50 years of injustice here, in terms of an area which has been used as a dump,” Asare said, “and yet we have lives of folks there who have had to bear the brunt, disproportionately for the waste needs of the whole area.”

Last month, a town committee recommended against the expansion of the landfill because of public health and environmental concerns. The landfill burns over 700,000 tons of waste into ash to generate power.

The group is also against plans to send trash off of Long Island by railway at three proposed transfer stations. They said the proposals disproportionately burdens and puts at risk communities of color.

Asare said the group wants the Town of Brookhaven and the state Department of Environmental Conservation to create a “zero waste” plan.

“That is a strategy and a way to plan that creates clear targets for how to bring down waste, and how to make sure that waste is not placed in anybody's backyard, in ours or in other landfills elsewhere,” she said of plans to send Long Island trash to other states by truck or rail. “We have to be actually accountable for our waste, and that it is an issue for us, as a group, which has been impacted by this landfill, our hope is not to push that trash onto anyone else.”

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.