After a lengthy meeting on Aug. 15, the Town of Oyster Bay’s board decided to hold a special meeting on Tuesday to pick up where trustees left off. The board had tabled an agenda item on a contract for a new recycling system when Councilman Anthony Macagnone thought one company’s bid was too good to be true. Upon further review, the board approved Winter Brothers Waste Systems to take charge of the town’s recycling program, which will begin Oct. 23.
“I did some investigating, I met with the principal of Winter Brothers, along with the commissioner of the DPW,” Macagnone said. “The company realizes what they’re in for, and they realize what they’re committed to.”
Winter Brothers agreed to pay the town $25.08 a ton for five years for recyclable materials, which turned out to be the highest bid for the town.
“We had the time to ensure that our board had a chance to look at this more carefully, asking questions and turning this inside out,” said Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino. “We determined that this is an amazing rate.”
Saladino added that this would be the highest rate paid to the town for recyclables of any municipality on Long Island, as well as one of the highest in New York state.
“If we get half of the expected revenue that we’re supposed to get from this, we’re doing much better,” Macagnone said.
Saladino said that the board’s decision to revisit this resolution adds to its transparency with the public. However, some residents thought otherwise.
“While single-stream recycling may be the greatest thing for the town, how does anyone know for sure?” said Robert Freier, of Woodbury, who is running for town board as a Democrat. “The transparent way would have been to hold a hearing, discuss the benefits, or lack thereof, of single-stream versus dual-stream recycling, and what the implications would be.”
Freier also said that the board should not have held its meeting on one of the busiest vacation weeks of the year. But Saladino disagreed, saying that the board had made the right choice in holding this special meeting.
“We put it off for a week so that the decision makers involved could get even more information,” Saladino said.
Robert Ripp, of Massapequa, said that the board had reached an “all-time low,” accusing Saladino of forcing his trustees to approve this resolution. He also explained that he was disappointed and dissatisfied with the board.
“This has nothing to do with single-stream recycling,” Saladino responded. “Perhaps you were confused.”
Paul Molinari, of Hicksville, supported the town’s contract with Winter Brothers, explaining that it would benefit the environment.
“Winter Brothers has a state-of-the-art recycling facility that captures 95 percent of materials, which is excellent,” Molinari said. He also said that there aren’t many companies on Long Island with a facility quite like Winter Brothers.
Anthony Core, the owner of West End Waste Reduction Inc. and Omni Recycling, in Westbury, asked for the board to look over the bids more thoroughly. Core, whose company has a contract with the town’s current recycling program, offered to pay $8.56 a ton. He said that the deal with Winters Brothers is good, but because that company plans to send recycling material to its other facility in Connecticut, it would reduce business opportunities in Nassau County.
“The reason why we bid is because we are the new company to do the new infrastructure for Nassau County, the new development of a better and more sophisticated state-of-the-art facility,” Core said. “By doing this contract, you’re almost eliminating Oyster Bay’s materials from that consideration.”
The town board can renew its contract every year, which Saladino said would give the board a chance to see how well it performs. Macagnone said that the town’s next step would be to make a concerted effort to get the message out to the public about the details of their contract with Winter Bros.