MARCH 21, 2019
The Changing Paradigm of Recycling
2018 saw a number of developments in the world of municipal recycling on Long Island, triggered in part by a severe tightening of export markets and some business failures that have affected many Long Island residents. These events have caused municipalities who provide recyclables collections to re-assess their programs in order to respond to changes in the markets, which continue today.
The Symposium will be a full day event and feature several panels of speakers on topics including a “back to basics” review of how recycled materials are made into new products by the buyers of our materials, an economic assessment of markets as of March 2019, views on the role of State policy in recycling, and assessments of the condition of town recycling by the commissioners who manage these programs. We believe it will be of interest to all who value recycling as a waste management tool.
Program Moderator: James Heil
Registration and Coffee
Welcome and Program Introduction – Dr. Larry Swanson
What Goes Around; The Moral of Recycling – Dr. Carl Safina (Stony Brook)
Keynote Speaker (followed by Q & A) – Carrie Meek Gallagher (NYS DEC)
The Manufacturer’s Perspective – Jim Heil
- Paper: Myles Cohen (Pratt Industries)
- Metals: Kevin Gershowitz (Gershow Recycling)
- Plastics: George Smilow (PQ Recycling)
- Glass: Tom Outerbridge (Sims)
- Q & A
11:00 am Short Break
A View from the Curb – the Hauler’s and Processor’s Perspective – Jim Heil
- Will Flower (Winters Brothers)
- Anthony Core (Omni Recycling)
- Nat Egosi (RRT)
- Q & A
The Town Perspective – Dr. David Tonjes (Stony Brook)
- Martin Bellew (Town of Islip)
- Christopher Andrade (Town of Brookhaven)
- John Conroy (Town of Hempstead)
- Mike Englemann (Town of Smithtown)
- John Clark (Town of Huntington))
- Danny Pearl (Town of Oyster Bay)
- Doug Jacob (Town of Babylon)
- Q & A
12:15 pm Lunch
- Assemblyman Steve Englebright
- Q & A
The Legal Aspects of Recycling Glass – Michael Cahill, Esq.
- David Vitale (NYS DEC) DEC views on glass collection
- Andrew Radin (OCCRA and NY Product Stewardship Council) on Bottle Bill amendments
- Paul Gilman (Covanta) on WTE perspective on glass in MSW
- Michael White (Tunnel Hill Partners) Counterpoint views
- Q & A
The Citizen’s Perspective – Eric Swenson
- Maureen Dolan Murphy (Citizens Campaign for the Environment)
- Dr. Peter Stephens (Homeowner)
- Q & A
Audience Perspective, Suggestions and Next Steps – Michael Cahill, Esq. and Dr. Larry Swanson
- Should we pursue new infrastructure? If so, who pays for it?
- Who should initiate it? Public or private sector?
- Is small better than big?
- Is legislation needed?
3:30 pm Adjourn
Speakers’ Biographical Sketches
Christopher Andrade is currently the Commissioner for the Town of Brookhaven, Department of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management. Brookhaven employs a Solid Waste system effectively managing the waste of 117,000 homes and nearly a ½ million residents. Prior experience: former President of the Islip Resource Recovery Agency, and Commissioner of the Town of Islip Department of Environmental Control. I have nearly 36 years of Solid Waste Management experience beginning my career in the early 1980’s. I have had the opportunity to watch local recycling programs evolve, including the Islip switch from single stream to dual stream in the early 1990’s and the Brookhaven switch in 2019.
Marty Bellew was the Director of the Bureau of Waste Disposal, Solid Waste Engineering, and the Bureau of Recycling for the New York City Department of Sanitation until 2005. After retiring, he worked as Deputy Commissioner of Public Works and the Commissioner of Parks for the City of Yonkers until 2012. In addition, he has worked as a consultant for various engineering firms on solid waste projects. He is currently the Commissioner of Environmental Controls and the President of the Islip Resource Recovery Agency for the Town of Islip.
John H. Clark, Director of Environmental Waste Management, Town of Huntington, is a graduate of the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. From 1978 through 2008, Mr. Clark was employed in various roles by J. & W. Seligman and Co. Incorporated, the largest privately held Asset Management firm in the US. He served as President of Seligman Data Services and was a Managing Director, Partner and a Member of the Board of Directors until the firm’s sale in 2008. Mr. Clark also served on the Board of the National Investment Company Service Association (NICSA), Maine and Company, and the National Quality Review. Mr. Clark currently serves as a Commissioner for the Greenlawn Water District and also serves on two charitable foundations including the Carleigh Mac Foundation and the Two Brothers Memorial Foundation. He joined the Town of Huntington as Director of Environmental Waste Management in February 2018.
Myles Cohen is the President of Pratt Industries Recycling Division where he heads up the operation of their 18 material recovery facilities throughout the USA. He is also responsible for purchasing all of the recovered fiber for their four, soon to be five, 100% recycled paper mills throughout the U.S., including their paper mill in New York City. Cohen has served in on various committees and in leadership roles for several trade organizations including The American Forest and Paper Association, and The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries where he currently serves on the Board of Directors, and as a member of the Executive Committee.
John Conroy has been involved in solid waste and recycling for the past 25 years after graduating Hofstra University. He became a Superintendent in the Department of Sanitation over ten years ago where he concentrated on the financial and disposal end of Solid Waste. He is now the Commissioner of Sanitation in the Town of Hempstead, still concentrating on those areas as well as day-to-day garbage pickup, projects, snow removal, and code enforcement.
Anthony Core currently serves as General Counsel and environmental counsel to Meadow Carting Corp. and Jamaica Ash and Rubbish Removal Co., Inc., both companies located in Westbury, New York. Jamaica Ash is Long Island’s largest commercial solid waste hauler and Meadow Carting Corp is Long Island’s largest residential waste hauler. Also, currently serves as General Counsel and environmental counsel for Westbury Paper Stock Corporation, Westbury, New York. Westbury Paper is the largest secondary used paper processor in the Eastern United States. He is also the Founder, Owner and President the Omni Recycling companies and the owner of EnCon Industries Corp, the Town of Babylon’s residential collection company.
Nathiel Egosi is President and founder of RRT Design & Construction. Celebrating its 30th year and headquartered in Melville, RRT has probably designed and built more recycling facilities in the US than any other company with over 400 projects. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in 23 states, one of the founding members of the Liblit Scholarship Committee and a frequent speaker at all the national solid waste and recycling events. He also is a co-sponsor of the only conference specifically focused on recycling plant operations.
Mike Engelmann is the Solid Waste Coordinator for the Town of Smithtown for the past 11 years, responsible of all waste and recycling matters (commercial and residential) and landfill regulatory compliance. Prior to that, Commissioner of the Solid Waste Management Authority for the Town of North Hempstead, Environmental Analyst for the Town of Smithtown prior to that, Hydrogeologist for H2M Group and Arcadis, consulting firms prior to that. Approximately 23 years of professional experience. Licensed Professional Geologist in the State of New York. Graduate of Hofstra University.
Assemblyman Steve Englebright serves as the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation. His committee priorities include advancing policy and budgetary initiatives to improve the quality of our air and waters, recycling and sustainability, and ramping up our efforts on the state level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the impacts of climate change including sea level rise and ocean acidification. He is currently working to advance legislation to ban single use plastic bags and expand the NY Bottle Bill to include non-carbonated beverages as well as wine and liquors bottles.
Will Flower is a Vice President with Winters Bros. Waste Systems on Long Island, NY. Winters Bros. is a recycling and solid waste firm with operations on Long Island, NY.
Will has 35 years of experience in the area of solid waste management and environmental protection. Will has held a variety of operational and executive leadership positions including working in the Director’s Office of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, for Waste Management, Inc. and later, for Republic Services. Inc. Will is a regular contributing writer for Waste 360 and Waste Advantage magazines. His column in Waste 360 is titled “The Waste Advisor” and focuses on all aspects of recycling operations. His monthly safety column in Waste Advantage magazine provides helpful information on a variety of safety topics.
Carrie Meek Gallagher is the Regional Director for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), overseeing a staff of 188 personnel with responsibility for implementing environmental conservation programs throughout Long Island. The Department’s mission is to conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being.
Kevin Gershowitz is the president of Gershow Recycling, a scrap metal recycler with nine locations throughout Long Island and Brooklyn. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the business, and handles the company’s legal and regulatory matters. Mr. Gershowitz is president of the New York chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. and a member of the Suffolk County Planning Commission, the Long Island Association’s Board of Directors and the Long Island Commission of the New York State Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. He has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including Fox News Channel, Newsday, Long Island Business News and American Recycler.
Paul Gilman is senior vice president and Covanta’s chief sustainability officer. He is responsible for Covanta’s environmental compliance programs and sustainability initiatives. Prior to joining Covanta, he served as the Assistant Administrator for Research and Development and Science Advisor at the U.S. EPA among other positions in the federal government and private sector.
Douglas Jacob is President of Red Hill Professional Services, Inc., a municipal consulting firm specializing in environmental management and municipal finance. Red Hill manages many functions of the Town of Babylon’s residential and commercial garbage districts including billing, customer service, inspection and code enforcement. Mr. Jacob has led the Town’s efforts at securing long-term recycling programs and contracts and is currently managing the Town’s contract extension negotiations with its waste-to-energy vendor. Prior to forming Red Hill, Mr. Jacob was the Comptroller and Solid Waste Administrator for the Town of Babylon, New York from 1993 to 2004, a period of dramatic change in the Town’s solid waste and recycling programs including the industry-changing Carbone v. Town of Clarkstown Supreme Court decision invalidating solid waste flow control laws. After receiving his M.B.A. in finance from the George Washington University in 1988, Mr. Jacob went to work for the national solid waste consulting firm, Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. (GBB) where he specialized in the economic evaluation and financing of large-scale solid waste operations.
Maureen Dolan Murphy, Executives Programs Manager, is a graduate of Siena College with a degree in Psychology and Environmental Studies and has been with CCE since 2001. She works on a number of local, state, and federal campaigns to advance renewable energy, reduce pesticide use, increase recycling and protect and restore our ocean and estuaries. In 2014 she was awarded the US EPA Environmental Quality Award. She has been an active member of the Long Island Sound Study since 2003 and chairs the South Shore Estuary Reserve Citizens Advisory Committee. Maureen was a lead author on the 2008 & 2009 Long Island Recycling Report Card.
Thomas Outerbridge is the General Manager of Sims Municipal Recycling. He was born and raised in New York City, and has worked in the field of recycling and composting since the 1980s. For the past 15 years, he has been with Sims Municipal Recycling. Sims is the processor and marketer of all commingled curbside recyclables collected by the NYC Department of Sanitation, handling approximately half a million tons a year.
Danny Pearl is the Town of Oyster Bay’s Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Resources and also a Village Trustee of the Village of Massapequa Park.
Peter Stephens has been a Stony Brook homeowner since 1980. He is a Professor in the Physics & Astronomy Department at Stony Brook University.
Andrew J. Radin is the Director of Recycling and Waste Reduction for OCRRA – the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency. He administers the community’s award-winning recycling program, including OCRRA’s recycling education efforts and its business relationship with a local private sector Material Recovery Facility. He has served on the board of a number of professional materials management organizations, including NYSAR — the New York State Association of Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling — and currently serves as the board chair of the New York Product Stewardship Council. He has testified before the New York State Assembly in support of legislation to expand the state’s Returnable Container Act, and has over 25 years of professional solid waste experience.
Carl Safina, ecologist and author, explores how humans are changing the living world, and what those changes mean. His writing has won the MacArthur “genius” prize; Pew and Guggenheim Fellowships; book awards from Lannan, Orion, and the National Academies; and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He holds the Endowed Chair for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University. Carl’s most recent book is Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel.
George Smilow is the C.O.O of PQ Recycling, LLC, BS Biology, MS Microbiology
40+ years in operations and general management in pharmaceutical, sugar refining, beverage manufacturing, wholesale fulfillment and PET recycling industries.
VP Operations Seven-UP Brooklyn Bottling Co. 1979-1990
GM/VP Pure Tech Plastics 1994-2013 and COO of PQ Recycling since 2013.
Enhanced all aspects of manufacturing and sourcing to enable Pure Tech to obtain FDA Food Grade status on both PET flake and Solid Stated PET pellet, and major beverage manufacturer approvals for back to bottle use. Long-term member of the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) and its PET Technical Committee as well as the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR)
Larry Swanson is the Associate Dean of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and the Director of the Waste Reduction and Management Institute at Stony Brook University.
David Tonjes is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University. He has been involved in Long Island waste management issues since 1990.
Dave Vitale has worked for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for nearly 40 years working in several Environmental Quality Divisions on a wide array of programs and projects. He is currently the Director of the Division of Materials Management which is responsible for administering the State’s waste reduction and recycling, solid waste, hazardous waste, radiation and pesticides management programs.
Michael White is an environmental attorney presently employed by Tunnel Hill Partners as Director of Government Affairs and Counsel. He has over 30 years of experience in solid waste management in government and industry. THP is the largest integrated waste by rail company in the USA, with two transload facilities on Long Island. Michael is an Adjunct faculty at SoMAS, a member of the Long Island Regional Planning Council, the Long Island Commission on Aquifer Protection and the Long Island Solid Waste Leadership Council.