As an environmentalist by profession, I recognize many of the problems with our current recycling program. To give a brief history, you need to know that the international single-stream recycling market was ended in late 2017. This was well-known by the Town, who previous to that had signed a 25 year agreement with the Green Stream Recycling company, who broke its contract with the Town of Brookhaven in 2018. The Town was aware of this for a year and not only failed to inform its residents of this issue, but failed to also come up with an effective plan to deal with this broken agreement. Instead, it was sprung on residents with barely a months notice that recycling would become much more stringent and difficult.
1. Weekly, multi-stream recycling pickup, including additional plastics (bags and shampoo bottles, i.e. plastics 3 and 4).
2. Monthly curbside glass pickup.
3. Glass drop-off center for every 20k residents (roughly 20 new glass centers).
4. Interactive recycling website and help line.
5. Community information events on a regular basis.
6. Public hearings in all six council districts prior to implementation.
The GOP says that they would never raise our recycle tax burden by $350, but we lost glass recycling (again, against NYS Law, for which the Town is now being fined) and we saw no refund for this.
If elected, I plan to create a task force to see this 6 point plan implemented. Not only by keeping the residents well-informed, but with their input as well. They will be given a choice in how much the Town will put into this new program, something they have not been given before.
When faced with questions about recycling, my opponent has often deflected saying things like "you shouldn't shop at companies like Amazon who don't exercise good packaging practices." While not completely wrong, it is unreasonable to ask people to not use companies like these as they often cannot get the products they need elsewhere. Instead, I plan to work with the State government to improve and standardize packaging and regulate packaging and shipping practices.