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Municipalities Reminded Not To Dump Construction Waste At County Facilities

A county transfer station where local municipalities deliver their waste.
A county transfer station where local municipalities deliver their waste. Photo Credit: Dina Grace Zoe Sciortino

WESTCHESTER  COUNTY, N.Y. – The Town of Greenburgh says it’s considering providing its own construction debris removal services for residents, in light of a recent reminder from Westchester County.

Earlier this month, the county sent an email to 43 municipalities reminding them not to bring construction debris to their transfer stations.

“Until we received notification from the county we were happy to pick up almost anything,” said Town Supervisor Paul Feiner.

Dumping construction and demolition refuse at county transfer stations is against county rules and has been since the mid-80s, according to Westchester County Director of Communications Ned McCormack.

“The reason for separating construction and demolition debris from regular household solid waste is to ensure disposal complies with environmental laws,” said McCormack.

McCormack also says that county policy, for more than five years, requires municipalities to take back unacceptable waste when it is identified at county transfer stations.

“There has been no change in policy,” McCormack told Daily Voice.

McCormack said the notice was sent to out to the municipalities since inspectors have found an increase in construction debris entering transfer stations. Burning large amounts of construction and demolition debris could violate air permits at the county's Charles Point Facility where each municipalities' waste ultimately ends up.

Municipalities can chooses not to pick up their unacceptable waste at the transfer station after its discovered, however, they'd be charged by the county charges for its disposal.

“This was all a policy, but they never enforced it until now,” said Feiner. “It’s really creating a lot of aggravation among a lot of people in Greenburgh and the river villages.”

Feiner says that while the town would big up significantly large construction refuse, like a toilet, but would picked up items from residents who made minor improvements.

“The average person isn’t going to call and pay for a company to pick it up," said Feiner.

Those who need to remove construction and demolition refuse in Westchester can contract with a company to pick it up and haul it off, or drop it off at a private transfer station that is licensed by the County’s Solid Waste Commission.

These facilities pay a licensing fee of between $12,5000 to $20,000 annually depending on the percentage of material they recycle. The more that is recycled, the lower the licensing fee.

Click here for a list of licensed facilities.

Greenburgh is currently looking into enacting a system similar to that of the town of Cortlandt.

Cortlandt doesn’t pick up construction debris as a part of its normal refuse pick up. It does, however, offer to pick up single items, such as a sink or toilet, at the cost of $25.

Larger amounts cost $75. Cortlandt residents are required to have major construction and debris removed by a private contractor.

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