Brentwood residents and officials say rebuilding and expanding a waste transfer station would disrupt residential neighborhoods, with hundreds of trucks a day rumbling through the streets. Credit: Barry Sloan

Brentwood residents say a rebuilt and expanded waste transfer station would disrupt a quiet residential neighborhood with hundreds of trucks a day rumbling through its streets.

Omni Recycling, one of Long Island's biggest waste processing companies, is proposing a facility at 80 Emjay Blvd. that would handle 2,300 tons daily of construction and demolition debris and solid waste from private and municipal customers. Omni is seeking approvals for the project from the Town of Islip and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Omni is proposing to build the facility — including a new 41,600-square-foot building and a renovated 1,260-square-foot scale house — on a 3.5-acre parcel it now owns that was previously occupied by a waste facility that has been vacant since an October 2013 fire, DEC officials said.

Residents in Brentwood have launched a drive to try to stop the project. They say they know what to expect if the facility is allowed to open because of their memories of the earlier waste plant on the site.

"We know what we’re talking about — the trucks coming in and the noise, the debris," said Ana Fernandez, a community activist. "The trucks were zooming down Suffolk Avenue. This is an ongoing thing with us. ... This one is even bigger."

Opponents said the Omni plan calls for about 800 truck trips a day — 400 arriving to the facility and 400 leaving — at least 12 hours a day, six days a week. They estimate peak traffic could see 30 to 32 trucks per hour.

"This is going to destroy our roads. This is going to destroy our way of life," said Suffolk County Legis. Sam Gonzalez (D-Brentwood). "The people would prefer anything else … anything else but a transfer [station]."

The site of a proposed waste station on Emjay Boulevard in Brentwood...

The site of a proposed waste station on Emjay Boulevard in Brentwood has been vacant since 2013. Credit: Barry Sloan

Omni officials did not return calls seeking comment.

DEC officials said they are weighing comments submitted about the plan earlier this year.

"After reviewing the comments, DEC will prepare a response, which may require additional information from the applicant," officials said in a statement. "DEC will issue its decision on the permit after this response is complete."

Islip officials declined to comment.

Omni is one of several waste haulers preparing for the expected 2024 closure of the Brookhaven Town landfill, which takes incinerated solid waste and construction and demolition debris from municipalities and contracting firms. The landfill's closure would leave a Melville site as Long Island's only major dump for construction and demolition debris.

Plans filed by Omni call for some waste to be carried by rail to and from the facility.

Brentwood activist Carlos Reyes said the Omni proposal reminds many residents of illegal dumping that occurred at the hamlet's Roberto Clemente Park. The discovery in 2014 of illegal dumping there led to criminal charges and convictions.

Reyes said the Omni facility would depress housing prices in the community.

"We started to raise up our voices after all of [the illegal] dumps of the waste there," said Reyes, co-director of the advocacy group Citizenship Initiative for the Change. "Our streets are not prepared for that kind of traffic. It’s going to be a lot of noise in a residential area."

Proposed waste transfer station

Applicant: Omni Recycling of Brentwood

Location: 80 Emjay Blvd.

Parcel size: 3.5 acres

Proposal: Omni wants to process 1,500 tons per day of construction and demolition debris and 800 tons per day of household trash. Trash would be transported by truck and trains.

Buildings: Proposed construction of 41,600-square-foot building, renovation of 1,260-square-foot scale house, construction of loading and unloading areas and parking.

Status: Awaiting Islip Town and state Department of Environmental Conservation approvals

Source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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