Monday, October 22, 2012

Last Century's Eyesores

It's hard to believe places like this are still in operation:
Residents concerned about fuel leaks and other environmental hazards at Buck’s Recycling Center at Route 213 and Mountain Road asked the Town Board to turn down a special use permit application for the Eddyville junk yard.

The comments were made during a Town Board public hearing Thursday, when concerns about the 10-acre facility included state findings that vehicles have been leaking fluids.

Buck’s Recycling Center owner Don Mackenzie was at the hearing but declined to comment.

“We have what appears to be an eyesore and a trash heap in our neighborhood,” resident Nancy Ebel said.
Agreed. And it's one of the things that prevents any kind of redevelopment from taking place, which is especially true a mile or so further to the north. If you got rid of all of the junkyards and other industrial businesses along the Rondout, and replaced these with an attractive waterfront suitable for pedestrians, people would go there in droves to spend money. Instead, we're left with this:
A March 25, 2010, investigation by the state Department of Environmental Conservation resulted in citations for hazardous waste violations for failing to maintain records; not having a contingency plan for fires, spills, release of vehicle fluids; receiving unauthorized materials; improper fluid draining, removal and collection; and not properly storing or marking fluid storage containers.

The state report included finding tires and debris in a wetland area as well as noting that items such as “mercury switches” had not been removed from vehicles.
I would guess that this business was at one time vital to the local economy. But this kind of wrecking yard is really a holdover from a bygone era. It should be shut down.

And even if the Town of Ulster were to close this facility tomorrow, the town will likely be dealing with problems associated with the site for many years, perhaps even decades, to come. All of those toxins will eventually bite the community on the ass.

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