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News stories tagged with "garbage"

Robin Nagle, from Saranac Lake, is the anthropologist-in-residence in the New York City Sanitation Department.  Photo: Brian Mann
Robin Nagle, from Saranac Lake, is the anthropologist-in-residence in the New York City Sanitation Department. Photo: Brian Mann

America's never-ending war against garbage

We've all had the experience of being told that it's our turn to take out the trash. Or sort the recycling. Or make the weekly trip to the dump.

More and more of us are trying to reduce the amount of waste we produce, by composting and buying stuff with less packaging.

But Americans still produce massive amounts of garbage.

And the way we deal with it shapes our lives and the future of our communities and our environment.  Go to full article
Gail Brill's compost bucket
Gail Brill's compost bucket

Taking the trash along

During this Earth Week, some members of the Green Circle in the Adirondacks have been carrying their garbage with them in an effort to raise awareness of the amount of garbage they produce, how much they recycle and what they're consuming. The Green Circle was started in 2007 by a handful of folks to help move themselves towards healthier, more sustainable lives. Green Circle member Gail Brill, who lives in Saranac Lake, told Todd Moe that their "Trash Challenge" has had a profound effect on the participants.  Go to full article

Enviros & health advocates praise burn ban

New York's ban on open burning took effect yesterday. With the exception of small brush and campfires, it's now illegal to burn trash, papers, plastics and even leaves anywhere in the state. The new law's provoked applause and outrage in places like the North Country, where backyard burn barrels have been a sign of everyday rural life. Supporters of the ban celebrated yesterday. And a project is ramping up to help farmers recycle the agricultural plastics many used to burn. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Sending a city's garbage up in flames

As municipal landfills were closed and capped back in the 1980s and 90s, communities across the US built big incinerators to get rid of the trash. Some, like St. Lawrence County, decided "no" for environmental and economic reasons. But many of the massive furnaces were built, financed by bonds and waste contracts just now being paid off. Now that those debts are off the books, some municipalities are having to think, all over again, about whether burning trash makes environmental and economic sense. Sarah Hulett reports.  Go to full article

Getting people to stop burning trash

State environment officials say a revised ban on open burning will be made public "in the very near future." Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Laurie Severino says the first draft of the ban received thousands of public comments. She says "pretty significant changes" have been made in the new version. The burn ban targets the widespread rural practice of burning garbage outside, especially in backyard burn barrels. The low temperature burn of a burn barrel releases toxic pollution and an acrid smell. Some rural communities are already trying to change their trash disposal habits. Todd Melby reports.  Go to full article

NY mandates plastic bag recycling

Under a new state law, large stores and retail or grocery store chains in New York will have to provide collection bins for used carry out bags.
Lots of supermarkets encourage shoppers to carry re-usable bags. The new law goes further, to try to make sure those plastic bags still in use are recycled. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article

From the trash to the tank

For the past few years, ethanol's been a political darling, but lately it seems the party's over. There's concern the industry's using too much corn. That's contributing to rising food prices. Well, some companies want to avoid the controversy. Reporter Shawn Allee explains they want to make ethanol from stuff we leave behind at the dinner table.  Go to full article

Residents rail against burn barrels

Backyard burn barrels full of trash are the nation's number one source of dioxin, which causes cancer. One burn barrel creates more pollution than a commercial incinerator. That's the main reason the Department of Environmental Conservation wants to ban them. The DEC also says burn barrels and other forms of open burning are a hazard for wildfires. The DEC is holding public hearings around the state on its sweeping open burning ban. Last night in Watertown, in often emotional testimony, most residents said it was about time. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Burn barrel ban draws critics

A proposed statewide ban on open burning drew a crowd of about 40 people, most of them opposed to the idea, to the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake yesterday. The session was the fifth in a series of eleven hearings that are being held around the state by the Department of Environmental Conservation. While the state says banning burn barrels will protect public health, the environment and reduce the risk of forest fires, critics say it will create economic hardship on North Country residents and lead to more brush and garbage being dumped in the woods. Chris Knight reports.  Go to full article

Landfill expansion plan draws complaints

A plan to expand Franklin County's landfill by 630 acres has drawn concern from neighbors from both sides of the northern border. The landfill, about one mile from the international boundary near Malone, has been controversial since it opened in 1994. It's one of 27 regional landfills in the state built to accept waste from the thousands of dumps closed across the state in past decades. A meeting in Malone last week drew about 50 people - nearly all of them opposed to the landfill expansion. Jacob Resneck was there.  Go to full article

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