The Butler Town Board is considering a proposal by Tully Environment to build a sewage sludge processing plant to be operated in a gravel pit owned by Riccelli Enterprises.
In theory, it would be used to process sewer sludge/waste from NYC, compost it, and turn it into fertilizer that could be used on area farmland or elsewhere.
Bottom line – if after reading the info below, you feel it’s not something we want in upstate NY, call either Pam Helming’s office, and/or your local NYS Senator or Assemblyperson, and let them know that.
The Town of Butler is in Wayne County, north of the thruway, about 20 miles north of end of Cayuga Lake. Here’s a link to the county boundaries on a Google map.
Below are some links to recent articles, and also some info from someone with technical knowledge relating to sludge composting:
Link 1 , Link 2 , Link 3 , Link 4
This gravel pit is located near a river that flows into Lake Ontario.
From my perspective:
1) We don’t need more NYC waste coming to the Finger Lakes … just in principal, and in that we don’t need the truck traffic, etc.
2) The waste from NYC I expect has a strong possibility of having all sorts of unpleasant chemicals that individuals and companies poured down the drain. Sure, we’ll be told things like ‘oh, there are laws against doing that … it’s only to be blah blah blah’. But I don’t trust that. We don’t need that chemical residue in the created compost being included in the fertilizer that goes on farm fields and pollutes what grows from it, what washes into streams, ponds and lakes, gets eaten by cows and goes into milk, etc.
3) I’m not confident any leaching from the gravel pit can be stopped 100% from getting into that local environment.
4) And I’m sure there will be ‘compost’ that can’t be used as fertilizer, and should go to a landfill, and guess who’s the closest!
Sewage Sludge is the leftover concentration of hundreds of harmful substances washed down our drains and discharged into sewers from industries, households, hospitals, road run-off, etc. that cannot be degraded in the wastewater treatment process. It should NOT be made into compost or applied to farmland. Sludge includes pharmaceuticals, detergents, antibiotics, pathogens, PFAS, organic chemicals, and heavy metals. For decades the EPA has advocated for “recycling” sewage sludge ( aka biosolids) by rebranding it as a great “fertilizer” for land application on farms and the making of compost, without up to date regulation and testing done of all its contents. If applied to farmland, sewage sludge leaches into groundwater, bioconcentrate in the soil and bioaccumulate in foraging livestock, causing irreversible damage to the land, with serious human and environmental health concerns. Over the last decade NYS DEC has decreased the land application and compost making of sludge and dumped more of it in landfills out of lower landfill tipping costs and public perception, but it is still being advocated as a “beneficial use” on DEC website. Sewage Sludge is a waste product we create too much of and all of the disposal methods ( landfill, incineration and land application) are all problematic. But we should be especially concerned about applying this to land we produce food on in the form of compost or as a fertilizer for farms.” Some Sludge Research Studies and DEC info:
Big thanks to Yvonne Taylor at Seneca Lake Guardian for sharing this info with us!