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Lindenhurst villagers oppose expanded recycling

Trucks at One World Recycling in Lindenhurst. (Aug

Trucks at One World Recycling in Lindenhurst. (Aug 6, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Lindenhurst Village recycling company is asking the state for permission to triple its production, drawing ire from nearby residents already frustrated with the company.

One World Recycling LLC has applied to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to increase the amount of waste processed at their North Queens Avenue facility from 370 tons to 1,100 tons per day. Village officials and residents have written to the DEC, asking officials to deny the request, citing quality of life and safety concerns.

"It's distressing already," said Kathy Harvey, who lives nearby. "If they were to triple the amount, it'd be unbearable."

One World processes construction and demolition debris. Last year, the DEC raised concerns after an inspection of the site, leading the company to apply to the village to extend their buildings so that processing is done entirely indoors. That application is pending.

Marty Sternberg, One World's comptroller, said that due to evolving recycling structures -- such as machines that presort mixed materials and the addition of organics recycling -- the company will take in more compounded and varied material. "We're just changing our structure to comply with the DEC and the changing of the industry," he said.

The company wants to increase production, in part, to pay for the building expansion, he said, which is expected to cost $600,000 to $700,000.

Neighbors have long complained about after-hours work, noise and dust. Local fire chiefs have expressed concern about a nearby railroad crossing gate staying down too long, creating a safety issue, while cars move in and out of the rail spur that serves One World and Nicolia Industries Inc. Village officials have also been frustrated with One World's operation and are asking the DEC to deny the production increase.

"If they had been a better neighbor, I could have accepted something like this," said Lindenhurst Mayor Thomas Brennan. "Three times the amount -- we'd be going from a one to a three. If we were getting complaints at one, what's going to happen at three?"

Brennan added that recently One World has tried to be more considerate of neighbors, and the village is willing to work with the recyclers.

Sternberg said enclosing the facility would result in a large decrease in noise and air pollution. He said rail use is limited to weekdays and Saturdays unless there are emergencies. New York & Atlantic Railway, which leases the tracks for freight, has said the gates are down for only a few minutes and someone is on hand to raise the gates for emergency vehicles.

Civic leader John Lisi said there are "many unresolved issues" with One World, and increasing production will bring "a commensurate increase in unacceptable situations."

"They need to coexist with the residents of Long Island who have a huge investment in their homes," Lisi said. "Waste is not to be removed at the expense of the quality of life" for nearby residents. The DEC is accepting comments until Aug. 16.

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