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LETTER: Landfill operation continues to concern public in Seneca County

In response to Mr. Black’s 2017 editorial, I believe it is high time to do exactly what Waste Connections, the foreign corporation that owns the Seneca Meadows landfill, is hoping beyond hope no one does: it’s time to address this propaganda piece-by-piece.

“The Chamber of Commerce Votes No”

This is really not so significant. And it’s no surprise a chamber of commerce in a small, rural community would oppose such a law. The goal of a chamber of commerce is to follow dollar signs, for better or for worse. The claim that Local Law 3 of 2016 “targets” a single business is true, in part. It does target foreign-owned importers of human filth, seeking to dump the refuse of other communities onto a single community many miles away. But the notion that a brewery or automotive dealership or embroidery shop would be “targeted” in the same fashion as the largest commercialized hyper-landfill in the state is entirely erroneous.

The fact is that not all businesses are good businesses. Not all businesses are the type one should want in their community. When a business jeopardizes the health and welfare of the citizenry and ecosystem itself, this is a bad business. LL3 is not an “attack on all business” as some would have you believe. It is in actuality a defense against one specific predatory business model.

Not to mention, the chamber itself does not fully believe this claim. There is a reason an adult video store in northern Seneca county was forced to locate across the road and not in the Waterloo Premium Outlets with the rest of the stores. In the eyes of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, not all businesses are good businesses.

“The 2016 Law is Legally Flawed”

This is a falsehood. There is a reason why the law has remained for over two years now. Its passage was sound and legal. The fact that Seneca Meadows doesn’t like this makes it no less true.

And if the claim is to be made that a former Town Board member displayed bias against the landfill, it should be duly noted that the acting Town Supervisor has repeatedly shown bias in favor of the landfill, walking out of meetings in a huff when the vote did not go the way he would have liked, and being seen on several occasions in a local restaurant having dinner with landfill officials.

“The 2016 Law is Inaccurate”

Again, untrue. The thing Seneca Meadows, and its owner Waste Connections, needs to realize is that just because they don’t like it, does not make it inaccurate or illegal.

Another fact they seem to struggle with is that the argument is not about whether or not they do their daily jobs at the landfill right, or if they’ve won awards for what they do. The argument is about the nature of the business itself; importing other people’s filth and wholesale dumping it on a community which created only a miniscule fraction of said filth. This is an environmental and social injustice. Does it matter to you if the man is smiling and polite as he dumps a truckload of stinky, dirty diapers in your front lawn?

“The 2016 Law Relies Upon False Statements”

These companies rely heavily on the ignorance of their customers in this regard. Many people may not be aware what that mountain just down the road really is. Hotels, for instance, who rely on tourists for a substantial portion of their profit, are simply hoping their guests don’t inquire as to the stink wafting from that mountain. Once they discover the truth, chances are they won’t be coming back any time soon.

“The 2016 Law Disregards Odor Control Efforts”

I believe Seneca Meadows puts great effort into controlling their putrid stench. The last thing Waste Connections, or similar commercialized trash entities want, is uppity locals complaining about the stink. However, this argument still misses the mark in regards to the underlying issue. If Seneca Meadows smelled of fresh spring roses, it would make no difference. Millions of tons of rotting human filth still sit in those mountains.

“The 2016 Law Could Slash the Town Budget, Resulting in Significant Increased Taxes”

This leads me back to a question I have often raised, and very seldom received an answer to: How does every other community the nation and the world over without a for-profit hyper-landfill seem to get by? Because millions of them do it just fine, every single day.

What Mr. Black is telling us here, in so many words, if that the Seneca Meadows foreign-owned, toxic-waste landfill has no plans of closing. Not in the foreseeable future. Local Law 3 of 2016 simply guarantees their closure by 2023. This is core of the issue. This is the essence. Seneca Meadows simply does not want to close this landfill in 2023, or even 2040. They want to continue dumping the reeking filth of New York City and Canada on Seneca County in perpetuity. This law terrifies them because it holds them to the standard of a sensible, agreed upon closure date.

I find it ironic that Mr. Black mentions future generations in his article. Because what he crusades for is to the detriment of those future generations. Does being raised in the shadow of the largest landfill in the state seem to you to be in the best interest of future generations? What I imagine for future generations is clean air, soil, and water. An environment unpolluted by the waste of distant communities, too lazy and careless to come up with their own solution. Should future generations here suffer because present generations somewhere else shipped out their filth, out of sight, out of mind?

Negotiations are great, to a point. But there is a point when an entity simply disregards those negotiations because it hurts their bottom line. That is the time to take a stand.

– Joe DiCicco
Seneca Falls, NY


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