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Lindenhurst group finds ally in fight against recycling expansion

A truck passes One World Recycling on Queens

A truck passes One World Recycling on Queens Avenue in Lindenhurst, N.Y. (Nov. 25, 2013) Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Lindenhurst Village residents fighting the expansion of a recycling company have found an ally -- in Queens.

For several years, neighbors of One World Recycling LLC have complained about the North Queens Avenue company, which uses a once-dormant rail spur close to homes.

Noise, odors and the potential danger of crossing gates that remain down for as long as 20 minutes have been among the expressed concerns.

Earlier this year, the company applied to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for a permit to increase the amount of waste processed at its facility to 1,100 tons from 370 tons per day. Residents and Lindenhurst officials have asked the DEC to deny the request. Neither the DEC nor One World responded to requests for comment.

In October, residents discovered that a group of civics in Queens had united to fight similar problems on their end of the tracks.

Mary Parisen, of Glendale, Queens, heads up Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES) and after seeing media reports about the situation in Lindenhurst, reached out to John Lisi, head of the Daniel Street Civic Association.

"It was interesting to learn other people were having similar issues and fighting the same problems we were," he said.

CURES members live either along the rail route, or, in the case of Parisen, next to the Fresh Pond Rail Yard -- first stop on the way out of state for freight cars from One World and other companies on the Island.

"We're thrilled that they have become part of our coalition and that we're both advocating for the same thing," Parisen said.

CURES, which is made up of more than a dozen civic associations and has thousands of members, lobbied local officials to join their cause.

As a result, 10 officials from Congress, the State Senate and Assembly and the New York City Council sent a letter to the DEC questioning an expansion at One World. In response, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens sent a letter stating that their concerns "are being taken very seriously."

Last week, state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Islip), state Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and other officials signed off on a similar letter to the DEC.

The letter notes that while moving from truck to rail for the removal of waste is important, "this progress cannot come at the expense of the local communities where these transfer stations are located or who have rail cars filled with [construction and demolition] material, recyclables or solid waste passing through their communities."

Officials said they hoped to work with the DEC and communities "to develop and implement a process" and "to minimize negative impacts."

"It is our hope that you will have these regulations in place prior to issuing any additional permits for expanding or creating new transfer stations," the letter stated.

Lisi said he and his neighbors are encouraged by the alliance with CURES and the involvement of officials. "The problems, whether they're here or in Queens, are common problems," he said.

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