Editor’s note: This letter was sent to the panel members of the recent Finger Lakes Landfill Summit in Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva on April 24.
Attn Mr. Vitale, Mr. Lichenstein, Mr. Rowe, Mr. Garvey,
I feel compelled to comment on your recently held Finger Lakes Landfill Summit. While there was the promised discussion of the state's Beyond Waste strategy, the majority of time was not spent looking at recycling and waste reduction. I was extremely disappointed by what I can only call an “infomercial” on the benefits of landfills, fully espoused by the DEC, no less.
Being in the position to represent the entire state, and protect our environment, I naïvely did not expect such glaring DEC endorsement. In addition, the moderator let the speakers all carry over their time, leaving little time for questions from the public. When it did get to questions, those selected were very benign, addressing none of the concerns held by the overwhelmingly anti-landfill audience.
Only one question addressed real concern: When the panel was asked to put a figure to the negative aspects of the landfills, how it offsets profits with quality of life, incredibly none were able to name any real negatives.
Personally, I feel that additional meetings of this sort would be a waste of my time, as it was a solely one-sided presentation looking to convince the residents of the beautiful Finger Lakes region that the almighty dollar is more valuable than our quality of life and protection of our delicate, glorious environment.
I understand that the state has a dilemma addressing the waste from New York city, but there must be a better answer than trashing a region of such caliber. I don’t feel that upstate should have to “take one for the team,” and sacrifice our aesthetic for the benefit of New York City.
Please consider hosting more balanced discussion for any future “summits.”