BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island community was upset Monday, outraged that garbage from the Hamptons and other east end towns is being held in their town until state officials can figure out how to send it to a landfill out of state.
Garbage from east end towns was being trucked into a trucking depot in Brentwood, garbage that had piled up for more than a month at transfer stations — first, because of a shortage of trucks and, recently, because rail cars were diverted to New Jersey instead of Long Island. Neighbors told CBS 2’s Matt Kozar they are fed up, saying the truck depot should never have been allowed to accept another community’s trash.
“I don’t have a complaint about the trucks, but I have a complaint about the garbage dump and dust close to the neighborhood,” Brentwood resident Jose Escobar said.
The trucking company, Elm Global Logistics, did not respond to CBS 2’s calls for comment, but a local lawmaker, Assemblyman Philip Ramos, said bringing the garbage to Brentwood, a heavily minority community, is environmental racism.
“Keep it in the Hamptons temporarily and then send it somewhere else. This community is tired of taking it on the chin,” said Ramos, a Democrat.
Assemblyman Ramos said Brentwood already has several superfund sites and three power plants polluting the air and water, and added Islip town leaders should have done more to block the shipping of garbage to Brentwood.
“We are prepared to engage in civil disobedience. The other day I laid down on the road right in front of the trucks together with other supporters over here of this cause,” Ramos said.
CBS 2 tried to find out why rail cars meant to ship the garbage to a Kentucky landfill have been delayed, but our calls to the rail carrier, CSX, were not returned.
No one from the Town of Islip would go on camera, but a spokeswoman told CBS 2 the town cannot do anything to block the garbage, because it was approved on an emergency basis by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The DEC told Kozar that rail cars were to arrive in Brentwood on Tuesday to begin taking away the east end trash. The environmental department said it has only received one odor complaint, but will continue to monitor the situation.
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