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News stories tagged with "burn-barrel"

Larry Lago (left) and friends burn a wood shed outside Copenhagen.
Larry Lago (left) and friends burn a wood shed outside Copenhagen.

Burn ban has fans and critics

A rural tradition is now a thing of the past, or at least, so says the law. Two weeks ago, New York outlawed burn barrels and many other types of open burning. You can still burn brush and small tree limbs and have small campfires. The question is will people obey the new burn ban? David Sommerstein surveyed some residents and has our story.  Go to full article

Enviros & health advocates praise burn ban

New York's ban on open burning took effect yesterday. With the exception of small brush and campfires, it's now illegal to burn trash, papers, plastics and even leaves anywhere in the state. The new law's provoked applause and outrage in places like the North Country, where backyard burn barrels have been a sign of everyday rural life. Supporters of the ban celebrated yesterday. And a project is ramping up to help farmers recycle the agricultural plastics many used to burn. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Ins and outs of new burn ban

Two weeks from today, it'll be against the law to burn trash and most everything else in New York State. The new burn ban targets backyard burn barrels, which are heavy polluters and the biggest source of cancer-causing dioxins in our air. But it also bans the burning of leaves, newspapers, and agricultural plastics like bale wraps. Campfires, burning brush, and natural agricultural waste will still be allowed. The Department of Environmental Conservation is scrambling to get the word out about the details of the law and its enforcement. The DEC's Lori Severino told David Sommerstein most forms of open burning will be banned.  Go to full article
St. Lawrence County's awareness campaign logo
St. Lawrence County's awareness campaign logo

Burn barrels become illegal this fall

The burn barrel is one of those ubiquitous - and smelly - symbols of country living in New York State. In most towns with fewer than 20,000 people, you can burn pretty much what you want. Beginning this fall, that will no longer be the case. Burn barrels and other forms of garbage burning will be made illegal statewide. That's welcome news to St. Lawrence County planner Jon Montan. He organized the county's burn barrel awareness campaign a few years ago. His efforts were mentioned in the state's rationale for passing a burn ban. Montan told David Sommerstein awareness of the public health dangers of burn barrels began in the early 1990s, when St. Lawrence County was gripped in a debate over whether to build a big trash incinerator.  Go to full article

Getting people to stop burning trash

State environment officials say a revised ban on open burning will be made public "in the very near future." Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Laurie Severino says the first draft of the ban received thousands of public comments. She says "pretty significant changes" have been made in the new version. The burn ban targets the widespread rural practice of burning garbage outside, especially in backyard burn barrels. The low temperature burn of a burn barrel releases toxic pollution and an acrid smell. Some rural communities are already trying to change their trash disposal habits. Todd Melby reports.  Go to full article
Lenny Merculdi and Blake Putnam fill the "Bigfoot" with used plastics.
Lenny Merculdi and Blake Putnam fill the "Bigfoot" with used plastics.

Farmers test a new kind of baler for plastics

Farmers across New York State are bracing for a big change. It appears likely the Paterson administration will pass some form of a ban on open burning. That means farmers will have to find another way to dispose of the agricultural plastics that have become an indispensable part of the business. Clinton County is experimenting with one solution, a machine that crushes and bales the plastics so they can be recycled. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Ins and outs of proposed burn ban

Tomorrow night is the last public comment session in the North Country about the state's proposed ban on burn barrels and other forms of opening burning. It'll be held from 4 to 8 at SUNY Canton. There's widespread agreement that burning garbage outside is very bad for public health and the environment. But there are concerns about unintended economic consequences. As David Sommerstein reports, the devil's in the details.  Go to full article

Residents rail against burn barrels

Backyard burn barrels full of trash are the nation's number one source of dioxin, which causes cancer. One burn barrel creates more pollution than a commercial incinerator. That's the main reason the Department of Environmental Conservation wants to ban them. The DEC also says burn barrels and other forms of open burning are a hazard for wildfires. The DEC is holding public hearings around the state on its sweeping open burning ban. Last night in Watertown, in often emotional testimony, most residents said it was about time. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

DEC wants to outlaw trash burning

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation announced yesterday it's proposing a statewide ban on open burning, including burn barrels and agricultural plastics. The DEC says the measure will reduce pollution and the risk of wildfires. But farmers have long fought a ban. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Ag's shifting agenda in New York

Agriculture is one of New York's biggest industries, generating more than $3 billion annually. Once a reliable mix of dairy, orchards, and row crops, farming in New York is changing fast, with new opportunities and challenges. The state is building a wholesale market in New York City to connect downstate consumers with Upstate farms. A new office of organic produce is trying to help farmers' meet the growing demand for healthy, locally-grown food. And New York is investing in biofuel research. Meanwhile, farmers have been thrust into the middle of the illegal immigration debate, fearing raids on their increasingly Hispanic workforce. A plan to ban open burning statewide would force farmers to find new ways to throw out their bale wraps and other plastics. David Sommerstein sat down recently with Agriculture Commissioner Pat Hooker to look at the farm agenda for 2008. Hooker came to state government last year after more than a decade representing the industry as the New York Farm Bureau's policy director. He says he's very excited about the promise of alternative energies and biofuels for farmers...  Go to full article

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