Critic says Dutchess trash agency should be trashed

The leader of a Washington, D.C.-based sustainability organization says the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency is a flop.

But the chairman of the county Legislature’s Environment Committee says the agency’s problems are not all self-created.

Neil Seldman, president of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, said “the Dutchess County incinerator should be phased out immediately. It is a financial albatross on that county. This past year their subsidy was over $6 million. It’s rising every year; it used to be $1 million about five years ago and the plant is not working well.”

County Legislator James Miccio, chairman of the Environment Committee, said there are “some issues” with the agency and its operation, but “it’s not all the (agency’s) fault. There are a lot of issues; a lot of things that have been overlooked over the years. We are in process of looking into all of that and trying to figure out what is the best plan of action.”

Miccio said it is easy for someone to say shut it down, but not necessarily easy to do. The agency, he noted, “has $32 million worth of debt so we would have to look how we would structure that debt before we make any rash decisions.”

The county’s consultant looking at waste disposal has presented a draft report, which included a number of options ranging from continuing the agency to creating a landfill, sending garbage out of county and composting.

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