Pennsylvanian communities reject NY municipal waste

Nearly 70 percent of Pennsylvania communities with municipal waste landfills and incinerators do not want New York City waste, a recent survey claims.

The survey was mailed to 70 municipalities hosting municipal waste landfills or resource recovery facilities. A total of 57 responses out of 70 that were sent were returned to the Pennsylvanian Department of Environmental Protection.

Of those, 47 communities said that they do not agree to receive waste from New York City. Ten communities said they agree to receive waste from New York City. Thirteen municipalities did not respond to the written survey.

The survey informed the communities of New York City’s waste export policy and asked them two questions. “In your host community agreement, did you agree to receive waste from New York City into your community?” And, “If you presently do not have a host community agreement or your existing agreement does not speak to receiving waste from New York City, do you agree to receive waste from New York City into your community?”

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge has sent a letter to New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, asking him to keep his promise not to send New York’s waste to those Pennsylvania communities.

“We fully expect New York City officials to honour their word not to send waste to Pennsylvania communities that do not agree to accept it,” Gov. Ridge said. “We are letting New York City officials know the results so they can keep their promise. Nearly 70 percent of Pennsylvania host communities have said ‘no’ – they won’t accept trash from the ‘Big Apple.’ We ask New York City to abide by their own policy to send their waste only to communities that say ‘yes.'”

Gov. Ridge has asked Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation to help enact legislation allowing states to limit out-of-state waste. Gov. Ridge cited out-of-state waste limits as among his top federal priorities.

The amount of out-of-state waste disposed at Pennsylvania municipal waste facilities in 1998 was 9.8 million tons, up from nearly 8.7 million tons in 1997 – an increase of 1.1 million tons, or 12.8 percent.

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