COLONIE: Residents raise stink over landfill expansion

The smell wasn't the only issue at hand. Some comments focused on health concerns related to the dump.

"The vile smell barely covers the topic," said Carmelo Privtera, a resident of Avila Retirement Community. Privtera said that the landfill "unquestionably contributes significantly to the formation of dangerous gases."

Privtera, a former professor of biological sciences at the University of Buffalo, said, "Each one of us, to varying degrees, can be victimized by the volatile materials."

John Travers of Coeymans said the dump, as it is, has a negative impact on an area nursery school.

"These kids are out playing in this stink," said Travers. "They're being poisoned by it."

Another area man said expanding the landfill "boggles the mind."

"In recent years, we have thought of moving from the area, not through any fault of our own," he said, on the impact of living near the landfill. "The expansion clearly jeopardizes the health of those living in the immediate area."

People speaking at the meeting also called for dramatic changes in the way the landfill is managed.

Tom Ellis, co-chair of the Citizens Environmental Coalition, said, "The right of people to breathe clean air outweighs the right of an incompetent city government to continue to mismanage their money."

Privtera said the answer to the problem lies with the politicians.

"Where are the visionaries?" he said. "That's my concern."

From an environmental standpoint, Jackson said, she worries that moving ahead with this proposal would put the Pine Bush area on a slippery slope.

"If this landfill expansion goes through, the city is going to want to take another slice of the Pine Bush in another eight years," said Jackson.

Christopher Hawver, executive director of the Pine Bush Preserve, said this proposal is "considerably better" than previous proposals, but added, "The commission is still not in support of any expansion of the landfill."

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