Mayor Nick Sacco and the North Bergen Board of Commissioners approved a new contract for Lincoln Recycling, a move that sparked a heated debate between Sacco and anti-administration residents.
By John Heinis and Katherine Guest/Hudson County View
Resident James De Los Santos proclaimed there was asbestos at Lincoln Recycling on Dell Avenue, where Eagle Recycling previously resided before the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2013.
Mayor Sacco refuted those allegations by stating De Los Santos’s records were from a New York report on Eagle Recycling which was “the same error that Channel 9 made when they did their story.”
“We have no reports of asbestos contamination—we have no reports of air supply contamination. The DEP consistently went to the [recycling plant] with the request of Hudson County Regional Health,” said Mayor Sacco.
Citing a past report by Hudson County TV, the DEP explained how recycling plants are allowed to have asbestos on the facility if disposed properly, according to De Los Santos.
“The reason why they got in trouble was because they were grinding the asbestos allowing it to go airbourne,” he said.
$100,000 in fines came from North Bergen’s township which were later appealed by Eagle Recycling to the Hudson County Board of Appeals.
Odemaris Ramirez, the independent Freeholder candidate running against the Sacco-backed Democrat Anthony Vainieiri in District 8, questioned the township’s failure to shut down the recycling plant where she insisted there was radioactive waste found on the premises.
“I can’t even answer to radioactive particles in the plant because I don’t know of any radioactive particles in the plant. I would think the federal government would have a regular interest in radiation in the plant. However, I’m just going to say no one ever notified North Bergen that there might be radioactive particles in the plant,” Sacco responded.
De Los Santos and Ramirez were two vocal members of a protest outside the Lincoln Recycling facility on Dell Avenue late last month.
Township spokesman Phil Swibinski said the contract is a one-year contract “for residual bulk recycling pickup” at $79.21/ton (slightly less than the vendor used last year), noting that Lincoln Recycling was the only vendor that entered the bidding process in this instance.
Editor’s Note: John Heinis filmed and edited the video for this story, while Katherine Guest provided the written content.