Community concerned about growing landfill

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – People living in a local community are up in arms about a landfill that’s right next to a school and also a cemetery.

As members of the advocacy group Rensselaer Community Action talked about the issue, it didn’t take long to see truck after truck pass by.

“I’m just very concerned about it for myself and my wife.”

John Patterson and his wife Joanne Kathleen Farrell say more than 100 trucks a day head to and from Dunn C&D Landfill in Rensselaer.

“The trucks that you have seen coming up and down the road while you are standing here are coming from all over the Northeast – anywhere from Michigan, Virginia, and Maine,” Farrell said.

“It’s the quality of life over here has gone down,” Patterson said.

The dump is right next to a nearby cemetery and is another thing that frustrates Farrell.

“It’s my grandmother’s grave and then the fence and then there’s all this trash on the other side of the fence. It’s disgusting.”

David Ellis is also with the Community Action Group. He says the dump also borders a school where his niece goes to pre-school.

“She is five years old and she goes outside almost every day and in beautiful weather, they’re out on the school fields playing on the playgrounds. This landfill is right next to where they’re playing,” Ellis said.

The dump has existed since 2012 but these concerned neighbors say recently the issues have been escalating.

“It’s just very concerning what kind of particles they’re breathing in.”

“It’s a bad situation. It should be resolved and the dump should be closed,” Patterson said.

Mayor Dan Dwyer says the dump is being run the way it should be. He says it brings in around $1 million a year for the city.

“If these people are so adamant about closing the dump, how are they going to make up the revenue stream?” Dwyer said.

Even so, those with Rensselaer Community Action say the fight is far from over.

“We are not giving up. We are not going to stop until this is closed,” Farrell said.

The mayor says he believes this is all a political ploy. He says he didn’t receive a single call or complaint until the election year.

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