Zeldin, Murray: LI Compost To Reduce Grass Clipping Intake By 90 Percent
State Legislators Hail “Significant First Step” Towards Odor Elimination at Facility

October 11, 2011

Yaphank, NY- State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) and Assemblyman Dean Murray (R, C- East Patchogue) proudly announced today that they have been successful in securing an agreement with a local recycling company in Yaphank to make significant changes in its operation. The change, which will take place on October 15, 2011, is expected to significantly reduce odors emanating into the surrounding community.

Long Island Compost, located at 445 Horseblock Road in Yaphank, has agreed to reduce its grass clipping operation by 90 percent as a result of ongoing negotiations between LI Compost, Senator Zeldin, and Assemblyman Murray.  These grass clippings are considered a source of the odors at and around the property site.  The agreement announced today will result in a reduction of 35,000 tons of clippings per year being collected at the Yaphank facility.

Since the end of this year’s legislative session, Zeldin and Murray have had over a dozen meetings with various interested parties, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Brookhaven Community Coalition (BCC) Executive Board, local civic groups, residents, and Long Island Compost. The ongoing effort has focused on addressing odor and dust complaints directed at the facility’s Yaphank operation.

“Today’s announcement is a positive step towards odor elimination at this facility,” said Senator Zeldin. “I am very grateful for Long Island Compost’s cooperation regarding this issue over these past three months. Assemblyman Murray and I are very pleased at their responsiveness to our requests on behalf of our concerned constituents. This is a major victory for the Yaphank community and I would like to especially thank the BCC and civic group leaders who assisted us with our efforts.”

“After months of working together with local residents, the DEC and the owners of this facility, this is an important step in significantly reducing the odors coming from this recycling facility,” said Assemblyman Murray.  “In the coming months, Senator Zeldin and I will continue to work with all of the stakeholders to make sure that further changes are made here, to make this business a better neighbor.” 

“Eliminating 90% of the grass clippings from this facility is a constructive step forward that allows us to address critical community concerns.  It is also a clear signal from LI Compost that they understand operational changes need to be made to fix long standing problems caused by the compost operation.  Congratulations to Senator Zeldin and Assemblyman Murray for facilitating this change.  CCE is hopeful that towns across Long Island, including Brookhaven, will follow Islip Town’s lead and cease the wasteful and antiquated act of accepting grass clippings. Residents should leave grass clippings on their lawns in order to provide a source of nutrients,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment and a BCC member.

Additionally, on July 28, 2011, Senator Zeldin and Assemblyman Murray formally requested that the DEC rewrite its Part 360 regulations concerning yard waste. Currently, due to a court decision, the DEC has no regulatory authority over yard waste and debris, leaving regulation of these facilities largely to town and county governments. The change sought by the two state legislators could potentially further assist their efforts.”

If problems persist, Senator Zeldin and Assemblyman Murray state that they will further advocate for portions of the current operation at L.I. Compost to be enclosed, pavement and plantings to be increased, or more.

The legislators’ efforts will continue until dust and odor impacts are removed as an impediment to the quality of life in the Yaphank and surrounding communities. They are optimistic that today’s announcement results in significant progress towards their ultimate goal.