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Oct 2, 2018 4:21 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Seeks Permits To Process More Yard Waste In Hampton Bays

Southampton Town officials are working to increase the capacity of the yard waste facility in Hampton Bays. GREG WEHNER
Oct 2, 2018 4:21 PM

A proposed project at the town-owned transfer station in Hampton Bays seeks to increase the allowable yard waste that can be collected and processed there on an annual basis, as permitted by the state.

Southampton Town officials are looking for professional help in designing a compost facility that can accept more than 10,000 cubic yards of yard clippings per year. A big part of the design will need to revolve around the diversion of storm runoff away from the composting piles to prevent it leaching into and contaminating the groundwater table.

Currently, the yard waste facility on Jackson Avenue is allowed through a permit issued by the State Department of Environmental Conservation to process between 3,000 and 10,000 cubic yards of shrubs, leaves, branches and other vegetation, per year. At times, that amount has exceeded the 10,000 cubic yard mark, according to Town Director of Municipal Works Christine Fetten.

“The amount coming through is more than the current certificate allows,” Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said.

The excess yard waste is due to various things like the development of land, the closure of other local receiving facilities, and environmental issues, like the southern yellow pine beetle, which is known to infect and kill pine trees that must be disposed of.

In order to remain in compliance, Ms. Fetten said, upgrades need to be made at the facility that allow water to drain away from the composting piles. This includes installing a “concrete pad,” as Mr. Schneiderman described it.

“We need a stable base to run equipment on it,” Ms. Fetten said, adding that the base could be anything from asphalt to concrete.

Ultimately, the upgrades all address how water will run away from the composting piles, or pits, while also addressing the odor and composting efficiency.

Ms. Fetten said the DEC is concerned with how rain runoff affects compost by looking at various scenarios of water sitting on compost.

Ed Thompson, the town waste management division head, said on Tuesday that water is needed for composting to occur. So while it is important to redirect the majority of the water away from the facility to avoid contaminants from entering the groundwater table, some will still be needed to operate properly.

“We want to maintain the stormwater better,” Ms. Fetten said. “We want the stormwater to bypass the compost yards instead of running through them.”

In order to become compliant, the town opened up the bidding process seeking contractors who could design a permitted composting facility that complies with state regulations set by the DEC.

The winning contractor will be required to survey the yard waste area and work with town officials to set up six composting test pits, or areas where yard debris would be broken down into compost.

Along with that, the winning bidder will also need to apply for the permits needed to operate as a 10,000 cubic yard facility, refine the plan requirements based on the cost of materials and develop and operation and maintenance plan for the facility, both for the year and the long term.

Within six months, the town will expect a final design.

Back in the 1960s, the site currently used to process yard waste was used as a dump site. It gradually developed into a larger dump site and then eventually became a transfer station and yard waste facility.

The town takes leaves from residents throughout the year at no cost, at the transfer station, but they charge for brush. Ms. Fetten said there are two amnesty periods during the year that allow residents to take brush to the facility. She added that the only time they take land clearing debris and tree cuts is when the materials came down from a storm.

Still, with the added operations, Ms. Fetten does not expect the area to expand.

“We’re trying to make it more efficient,” she said. “We’ve seen an increase in material, but do not anticipate clearing any land.”

Bids to conduct the work will be accepted by the Town Clerk’s office until 4 p.m. on October 4.

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Make it more efficient for the Southampton Town Board to dump on Hampton Bays. NO! Call in DEC as town is in violation at the same time it is trying to close
a private facility. Do you see the double standards how SHTB works.

This is the local government closing other facilities and political hack job now as this has gone on for years.

This board will continue to manage East Quouge, Flanders/Riverside and Hampton Bay poorly for the means of wealth east of canal.
By ZGerry (36), Hamptons on Oct 3, 18 9:05 AM
The Town is suing Sand Land for the exact same operations, but is dumping on Hampton Bays...literally. Sag Harbor gets a waterfront park and purchased development rights for the Cinema ad we get expanded dumping operations, purchase of property for a waste treatment facility, half finished projects and back office deals rewarding the owners of illegally used motels into apartments to allow conversion. Fabulous - so much for having a "local" representative. It is time for "Hampton Bays United" ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 18 9:53 AM
Remember all of this in Nov., time to vote this board out.
By Resident tax (148), Hampton bays ny on Oct 3, 18 2:37 PM
There are no Town Board seats open this November.
By G.A.Lombardi (327), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 18 4:09 PM
Awful that SHTB along with Jay are not open and truthful. All of them. The Town Board is broken and has put people at risk.. How is this possible to go after Sand Land yet the town is in clear violation of the DEC permits. Water quality needs to be tested at the transfer station in Hampton Bays and Southampton..

It is time to have a real government and management who are full time professional leaders. This SHTB are over their heads and can not handle the administration of a large town. ...more
By Hamptonsway (37), Southampton on Oct 3, 18 8:50 PM
Talk about putting people at risk. Jay admits in the 2019 Budget Message that the Justice Court is built on top of buried garbage of the old Hampton Bays garbage dump.The Town also admits to processing compost in violation of NYSDEC regulations for years.If his was an upwest town, the media will be all over the serious health issues surrounding the Justice Court and areas around the compost yard. Sounds similar to the health issue in Islip Town where a park opening was delayed when it was discovered ...more
By A Great American (63), East Quogue on Oct 4, 18 5:37 PM
Hampton Bays Sand Land, any test wells checked???????
By knitter (1604), Southampton on Oct 9, 18 10:46 AM