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News stories tagged with "trash"

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

Ins and outs of new burn ban

Two weeks from today, it'll be against the law to burn trash and most everything else in New York State. The new burn ban targets backyard burn barrels, which are heavy polluters and the biggest source of cancer-causing dioxins in our air. But it also bans the burning of leaves, newspapers, and agricultural plastics like bale wraps. Campfires, burning brush, and natural agricultural waste will still be allowed. The Department of Environmental Conservation is scrambling to get the word out about the details of the law and its enforcement. The DEC's Lori Severino told David Sommerstein most forms of open burning will be banned.  Go to full article

Researchers track trash

Businesses keep track of the supply chain, but no one really keeps track of trash in the same way. Lester Graham reports some researchers think there's something to learn from what we throw away.  Go to full article
St. Lawrence County's awareness campaign logo
St. Lawrence County's awareness campaign logo

Burn barrels become illegal this fall

The burn barrel is one of those ubiquitous - and smelly - symbols of country living in New York State. In most towns with fewer than 20,000 people, you can burn pretty much what you want. Beginning this fall, that will no longer be the case. Burn barrels and other forms of garbage burning will be made illegal statewide. That's welcome news to St. Lawrence County planner Jon Montan. He organized the county's burn barrel awareness campaign a few years ago. His efforts were mentioned in the state's rationale for passing a burn ban. Montan told David Sommerstein awareness of the public health dangers of burn barrels began in the early 1990s, when St. Lawrence County was gripped in a debate over whether to build a big trash incinerator.  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

DEC revises burn ban

New York is loosening its proposed open burning ban to exclude downed tree limbs and small brush. Martha Foley has more.  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

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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