To help manage residential organic waste that was previously burned and to build community understanding of the serious health and safety hazards of open burning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with the funding for the New York State Clean Air Grants Program under the Clean Air Act. Open burning of leaves, branches and other organic materials poses serious health risks and safety hazards that results in releasing harmful pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde and lead. Also, since open burning of residential waste is the single largest cause of wildfires, it puts the Montezuma Heritage Park and Montezuma National Wildlife that borders it at risk, and it is critical as stewards of this land we protect the habitat of these areas.
The Town of Montezuma received a Clean Air Grant through the DEC to help purchase a chipper. This will allow the Town to provide a service to residents to dispose of organic waste by bringing it to a designated site near the Recycling Center at the Town Highway Department barn. In return residents, will be able to use this recycled product as mulch as it becomes available. Another benefit is it will provide needed mulch along the newly self-guided nature trails now being developed in the Montezuma Heritage Park.
|Denny Lapp (left) and Jeff Dawson (right) ready to tackle a huge pile of brush.|
It's a win-win solution and opportunity for the town -- thanks DEC!