Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus Co.
updated 4/17/2001

Niagara Recycling's landfill complex

Niagara Recycling owns extensive sites upon which have been constructed over a dozen commercial solid waste landfills in the Town of Niagara Falls (Niagara Co.). In the early 1980s a New York state court found that Niagara Recycling's properties "have been used for the disposal of general refuse and industrial and chemical waste since their acquisition from Union Carbide Corporation by Niagara Recycling, Inc., in 1972 and used for several years prior thereto by Union Carbide Corporation as a site for the disposal of its own chemical sludges and industrial wastes as well as wastes of various outside businesses.  These landfills together comprise hundreds of acres and have accepted or currently accept a variety of wastes technically classified as non-hazardous, including incinerator ash residues." Niagara Recycling, Inc. v. Town of Niagara, 83 A.D.2d 316, 321 (4th Dept.1981).

Niagara Recycling's property is also home to Cecos International Inc., a  currently inactive commercial facility processing and disposing of hazardous wastes and located on a federal Superfund site. (see EPA RODs on Cecos)  It is also just down the road from Chemical Waste Management's active hazardous waste landfill, with the second largest amount of releases of toxic chemicals into the environment in New York, as reported on the EPA's 1999 Toxic Release Inventory.

Also in the early 1980s Newco and Niagara Recycling were supplying Hooker Energy Corporation's incinerator with up to 2,500 tons of garbage per day and landfilling Hooker's ash residue in their own landfills. Only a few years earlier it was learned that the Hooker Company dumped over 20,000 tons of chemical wastes consisting of 400 different chemicals at the nearby Love Canal. New York State's permitting of these facilities provided an artificially inexpensive method for industrial sites concentrated in Erie and Niagara counties to bury the problems associated with their own chemical or industrial wastes.

There is little doubt that the Town of Niagara Falls hosts the greatest concentration of municipal, mixed, and hazardous wastes per capita than any other place in New York State, perhaps greater  than any other place in the country.

Little has changed since1982, when Newco Waste Systems, Inc. applied successfully to open four new landfills on 120 acres of Niagara Recycling's property and Margaret Guiliani, President of the Society To Oppose Pollution In Towns offered these comments, among others, in opposition to the plan:

"We are working toward a time when less garbage needs to be buried.  We feel that a permit that would approve such a large number of acres for the disposal of waste would take away the necessary incentives to reduce our volume of waste.  As long as other cities and towns are assured of a place to dump their garbage, this will continue to be the pattern.  . . . it is illogical to think that the people in our town will be content to be the dumping grounds for everyone in western N.Y." (Quoted in the Decision of the Commissioner, Dept. Envtl. Conserv., In the Matter of the Applications for Sanitary Landfill Solid Waste Management Facilities in the Town of Niagara as proposed by Newco Waste Systems, Inc. and Niagara Recycling, Inc., 12/16/82, Appendix B.)

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