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E. Conover, Jr., P.E.
Wholistic Environmental Consulting, Ltd.
Post Office Box 246
Stony Brook, Long Island, New York
Phone: (631) 428-6473
Please note that we cannot work in New
York State. Anyplace else in the world is OK!
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The Garbage Barge
The Long Island Garbage Barge
anchored offshore of Key West, Florida.
|In 1983, there was a state law passed
that required the closing/ phasing out of landfills on Long Island, New York. As the law
was implemented, landfills started closing and resource recovery plants started being
built. (Resource recovery plants are garbage incinerators that use the energy from the
burning trash to make electricity) For awhile, there were not enough resource recovery
plants and the prices for the disposal of garbage was going up.
In 1987, some enterprising individuals decided to ship some
garbage to North Carolina- however when it got there, there was public outcry and concern
that the garbage from New York might contain hazardous waste and they did not want it. The
barge was turned away. The barge and its tugboat went down the coast looking for another
place to take the cargo.
|Johnny Carson would talk about the
barge every night. He had a map of the coast and had a line showing the journey of
At that time, I was a Solid Waste
inspecting engineer for the NYSDEC in Region 1 Long Island. When the barge reached
Key West Florida, one Friday afternoon, my boss asked me if I would be willing to fly to
Florida to inspect the garbage barge. I said, "well I guess so, if you really need me
to". So boss said I should call the Commissioner and get all the details.
I called Hank, the commissioner and he gave me the
scoop. I should fly to Miami, meet up with the USEPA Tactical Assistance Team, and
travel to Key West with them - and take a look at the garbage - look for hazardous stuff
in the trash.
So thats what I did. After I inspected the
garbage barge, I wrote a memo to Hank- I told him- "It looks like regular
John E. Conover, Jr. on the front deck of
the garbage barge Mobro
|After Key West, the Barge sailed
around some more, and then they got permission for it to come back to Long Island, where
the trash went to an incinerator.
attached photos and stories from newspapers and magazines and my letter from Hank.
Duffy St. Pierre, Captain of the Break of Dawn