Brookhaven recycling center working with state on litter issues

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The operator of Brookhaven Town's recycling program said Thursday he is working with state environmental officials to resolve a complaint about litter at the facility.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation in April issued a "notice of violation" to the town and Green Stream Recycling, which operates the facility on Horseblock Road in Brookhaven hamlet.

The violation notice said that eight inspections earlier this year had found litter blowing throughout the facility and poor handling of solid wastes, such as paper and other recyclables. The DEC in the notice said the company may face fines of up to $7,500 per violation and $1,500 for each day a violation occurred.

A town spokesman Thursday referred calls to Green Stream president Will Flower. The DEC did not return a call for comment.

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In an interview, Flower said a new $5.2 million processing machine unveiled earlier this month would solve the litter and handling problems. Before using the 56,000-square-foot processor, dubbed the Green Stream Machine, recyclables had been transferred to trucks and shipped to processing facilities, causing some debris to spill onto the ground, he said.

Flower said he was negotiating with DEC officials on a consent order that would outline steps the company must take to resolve the issue. Flower said he expects to complete the consent order within 30 days.

"We're absolutely committed to ensuring that the facility is operated in full compliance with every law, rule and regulation," he said.

Green Stream processes recyclables such as newspaper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum under a contract with the town that pays Brookhaven $20 for each ton of material taken in by the facility. About 600 tons of recyclable material is collected weekly from town residents, Flower said.

In January, the town began single-stream recycling, in which recyclables are collected by residents in a single container, rather than separated.The program has been expanded to several villages, school districts and a county facility in Yaphank.With Sarah Crichton

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