The Department of Waste Management
The Department of Waste Management is one of 16 departments of Town government. The Department is headed by the Commissioner of Waste Management, Matt Miner, who is assisted by a Chief Deputy Commissioner, and a Deputy Commissioner. Department offices are at Town Hall, One Independence Hill, Farmingville, NY 11738 (tel: 631-451-TOWN(8696)).
The Department of Waste Management is responsible for:
- The management of residential district collection contracts
- The management of the Waste Management Facilities Center in the hamlet of Brookhaven including the Landfill, the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for recyclables, the STOP building for hazardous household wastes, a the transfer station, Yard Waste treatment area, and a Residential Drop-off sitefor garbage and recyclables
- The management of the Manorville Composting Facility
- Town Sanitation Code enforcement
- Roadside and littered property cleanup and abandoned building demolitions
- Collection of special materials from residences such as odd bulk items and scrap metal items
- Public information on recycling and waste management for residents, businesses, schools, and institutions throughout the Town.
The Town has been divided into 35 residential collection areas for the collection of garbage, recyclables, and yard waste from 1-,2-, and 3- family homes by private carters under contract to the Town of Brookhaven. Collection of garbage, recyclables and yard waste is not provided to incorporated villages, condos, co-ops, multi-family housing units, businesses, schools, and institutions, although Town codes apply to these sectors.
Find out more about our Keep Brookhaven Beautiful program!
The Town of Brookhaven has 9 inspectors working from the Department of Waste Management to help residents with quality of life issues they may be experiencing in their neighborhoods and to assure good service from the carting companies picking up the household trash.
The Sanitation Inspectors respond to complaints from residents, other Town departments and outside agencies about litter and unregistered vehicles on private property, as well as some commercial property. Inspections are made of the property before notification of an existing violation is made to a property owner.
Besides issuing Notice Before Summons (NBS) and Notice Of Orders (NOO) letters, inspectors may also notify a resident of a violation through a Personal Appearance Ticket. These tickets can be issued without any prior notification, but usually follow failed attempts by the Sanitation Inspectors to get compliance by the responsible parties. This summons requires the resident to appear in the 6th District Court and can result in fines up to $2000 per violation.
So if you happen to meet one of our Sanitation Inspectors in your neighborhood, give a big "Hello!" and know that The town of Brookhaven is working to help their residents enjoy their homes and the quality of life they have come to expect in the Town of Brookhaven.
The Department of Waste Management serves the Town of Brookhaven by sending out approximately 8 crews on a daily basis to collect scheduled appliances and scrap metal, sofabeds, and dumped litter on the roadside. On a montly basis, the department responds to approximately 1,000 stops, collecting an average of 25 tons of metal and 100 tons of litter. Residents can call 451- TOWN (8696) to schedule an appointment to have their appliance, metal item or sofabed collected curbside or to report roadside litter.
Waste Management policies in the Town of Brookhaven follow a prescribed hierarchy of importance aimed at reducing the impact of waste disposal on the environment and quality of life. Each item to be discarded is considered for disposal in the following order with landfilling as the last resort:
1. Waste Reduction
3. Incineration with Energy Recovery
Town waste reduction policies focus on 3 aspects: the "Don't Bag It" campaign for grass clippings, the STOP program for household hazardous wastes, and waste reduction education programs.
The "Don't Bag It" program centers on a ban on Town collection of grass clippings. The Town advocates several possibilities to replace disposal of grass. These include use of a mulching mower, more frequent mowing with a conventional mower and letting the grass clippings lie on the lawn, and home composting of grass clippings (along with other organic materials). A more radical change is to adopt "xeriscaping" principles. This has come to mean a landscaping philosophy based on eliminating chemical and water intensive lawns where possible and plantings from local or regional sources, which do not require as much care and management as "artificial" gardens. More information on these programs are available at the Town offices 451-TOWN (8696).
The Town has a permanent Stop Throwing Out Pollutants (STOP) building at the Waste Management Facility in Brookhaven hamlet. Residents can bring toxic and dangerous household chemicals here for proper disposal, preventing their release to the environment.
The STOP building's hours of operation are:
April 1-Oct 31: Wednesdays & Saturdays, 8am-12pm
Nov 1-Mar 31: Saturdays, 8am-12pm
The Town's waste reduction education program is managed by the Town Recycling Educator. Presentations are made to schools and other interested organizations (by appointment: call 451-6222). Many effective waste reduction techniques can be adopted by the individual. In the office environment, double-sided copying, e-Mail use, and other paper use reduction techniques can minimize waste production. At home, choosing longer-lived products, bulk packaging, and products with less consumer packaging, when appropriate, can reduce the amount of garbage generated.
Finally, industry's general contribution to waste reduction, through product substitution and light-weighting, and general improvement in many items' durability, has also had a major impact on reducing the Brookhaven waste stream.
Recycling saves energy, saves natural resources, protects or environment, and provides economic benefits.
All residents, businesses, and institutions in Brookhaven Town are required by law to source separate mandatory recyclables. Source separation requires that recyclables be separated from the garbage at the location where the garbage is generated and removed from that location, separately from the garbage, directly to a recycling facility.
Mandatory Paper Recyclables
Mandatory Commingled Recyclables
Non-Mandatory Drop-off recyclables
Unacceptable as Recyclables
- newspaper, color inserts, magazines,
- catalogs, mail, envelopes, greeting cards
- junk mail, office paper, post-its
- construction, school, & PC paper
- white ledger, fax paper, manila folders
- copy & shredded paper, yellow legal pads
- NCR paper, wrapping paper, index cards
- telephone books, sweepstakes forms
- books (no covers)
- kraft (brown bag) paper, corrugated cardboard
- glass bottles, jars
- tin, aluminum, bimetallic cans
- aerosol spray cans
- aluminum foil
- aluminum food containers
- plastic containers:
- used motor oil & filters
- scrap metal
- yard waste
- car, truck, & boat batteries
- turkey frying oil
- fishing line
- Regular pots & pans, knives, forks
- small appliances
- cardboard with metal rims
- containers with hazardous residue, medical waste
- window panes, ceramics, mirrors
- Pyrex, plastic bags
- wax-coated boxes, lightweight uncorrugated cardboard
- soiled boxes
- flake/chipboard boxes
- plastic string/wire
- carbon paper, blueprints
Click for Curby!
Recyclables are processed for marketing at the Town-owned Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). This $8 million facility (built in 1991) uses a combination of mechanical and human sorting to create market-spec materials. When markets are exceptionally good, the Town can earn over $1 million from materials processed through the plant.
The Town provides curbside collection of recyclables to 1-,2-,3 family households in 35 collection areas. These residents are charged an additional fee on their tax bill for this service. Businesses, insitutions and residences not included in the Town collection areas (villages, condos, co-ops, and multi-family housing) are also required by law to recycle these materials. The Town also sets out large containers (at parks, marinas, and post offices, for example) to collect additional recyclables. Residents can drop off recyclables (at no charge) at the Wate Management Facilities Center in Brookhaven, at the Department's Manorville Composting Facility and at the Holtsville Ecology Park.
In the hierarchy of waste management methods followed by the Town of Brookhaven, recovery operations (waste reduction and/or recycling) are preferred over disposal operations (incineration and landfilling). However, because of practical considerations and personal choices, residents and businesses still produce materials requiring disposal.
The Town collects materials for disposal twice each week from every 1-, 2-, & 3-family residence in the Town's 35 waste districts. These materials are brought to the Town transfer station (at the Waste Management Facility in the hamlet of Brookhaven), and repacked into large tractor-trailers. These trucks take the waste to the Hempstead Resource Recovery Facility in Nassau County. There they are burned in a modern incinerator equipped with state-of-the-art pollution control devices, and electricity is generated from the energy contained in the garbage (waste-to-energy incineration).
In return, the Town accepts the incinerator ash generated by the plant and landfills it. The Town of Hempstead has tested the ash according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency's protocols, and found that this ash is not a toxic substance. The arrangement between the Town of Hempstead and the Town of Brookhaven allowed Brookhaven to close its landfill to "raw garbage" (municipal solid waste, or MSW) to comply with the Long Island Landfill Law.
The Town still operates its landfill; in fact, a 56-acre expansion was opened in 1996. Materials other than MSW generated by businesses and residents still must be disposed. In addition to the incinerator ash, materials landfilled are acceptable leftover residues. These left-overs consist of cars & appliances & unrecyclable & unrecovered materials from construction and demolition of buildings. A small quantity of rejected materials and residues from the Materials Recycling Facility must also be disposed of in the landfill.
Some materials can be treated in no other fashion, at this time, than by landfilling. The Town accepts materials such as boats, large animal carcasses, and certain dredge spoils at its landfill because there is no other way to manage these wastes. The nine-feet of liner systems (two complete sets of plastic and clay composite liners, with leachate collection for each) and other safeguards, including gas and groundwater monitoring programs, ensure that the Town landfill will not have a deleterious effect on the environment.