Dominick Calsolaro

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Letter to Val Washington about the landfill

Published on 7/18/2007

July 18, 2007

Val Washington
Deputy Commissioner
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NewYork 12233-1010

Dear Deputy Commissioner Washington:

It was a pleasure to meet you tonight and to hear your talk on the direction the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is heading under Governor Spitzer and Commissioner Grannis.

When you spoke of not really needing "new" ideas to help with the three "R's" of conservation (reduce, reuse, recycle), but looking at the past for ways to cut down on waste, it brought back memories for me. When I was a child growing up in the city of Albany in the late fifties and early sixties, I recall there was the "rag" man who came around collecting old clothes, the pig farmer picking up our food scraps that we had separated out from our other garbage, my father separating the No. 10 tin cans from the regular restaurant (the former Calsolaro's Restaurant on Washington Avenue) trash for the scrap metal dealer, and even myself collecting newspapers for the Cub Scouts' paper drives. Television repairmen came to our house to fix the TV and a vegetable farmer used to pick up our bagged leaves for his farm. We definitely did a much better job of reducing, reusing and recycling our materials forty years ago than we do today. So, your suggestion to look to the past to help us create a better future was right on the mark!

You told us tonight to keep the pressure on you and the administration to follow the right course in developing ways to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste. It was very encouraging to hear an administration official say these things with no excuses offered in case your goals are not met. And, to that end, I am enclosing some of my past correspondence to the Department of Environmental Conservation, as well as an Op-ed piece I wrote for the Times Union, concerning the inappropriateness of siting and expanding a landfill in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

I look forward to working with you to make our community and state a more eco-friendly and healthier place in which to live.


Dominick Calsolaro
Common Council Member - First Ward
(518) 859-5219