October 9, 2012

Meeting focuses on sustainability

PLATTSBURGH — Two firms, Casella Waste Management and Ecology and Environment Inc., shared their plans for increasing sustainability in the future.

With the help of a grant from the New York State Regional Economic Council, both companies have been evaluating the North Country’s generation of waste and identifying goals that would reduce waste and increase recycling and conservation of resources, which would save companies and private residents money. 

“We’re starting to write draft chapters of the plan now,” said Christopher J. Rohner of Ecology and Environment, a company based in Lancaster, N.Y., at a public presentation at Clinton Community College.

Rohner showed a pie chart of approximate numbers Ecology and Environment has generated. It found that the North Country generates only 3 percent of New York state’s carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions.

The three factors that contribute to the North Country’s emissions the most are transportation, generating about 46 percent; livestock, at 11 percent; and commercial processes, also with 11 percent of the total emissions.

Town of Plattsburgh Planning Department Director Philip E. Von Bargen asked Rohner how much of transportation emissions are from local traffic and how much from tourism.

“Transportation is probably going to be the toughest nut to crack,” said Kate Fish, executive director of the Adirondack North Country Association. “We’re going to be really creative about how we’re going to think about that.”


A working group comprised of individuals and business representatives from the area is focusing on an aspect of sustainability that includes transportation, waste and water management, economic development, energy, working landscapes and livable communities.

Lynn Edmonds of Jay spoke to the group about the difficulties she has faced living in some of the more rural areas of the Adirondacks and how that relates to the livable communities’ aspect of the sustainability initiative.

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