Recycling Plant Draws New Opponents
ONEIDA-- A day after the Oneida Land Commission approved a conditional use permit for a former grocery store to be re-zoned, some tribal members are working to stop it.
Leah Dodge is concerned about possible toxic emissions form the proposed plant that would melt plastics at high temperatures and covert it into energy. Dodge helped gather signatures for a petition requiring the Tribal Council to make a decision on the proposal. The petition requires at least 50 people to be considered valid. Dodge helped collect 81 signatures.
"There were many who were afraid to sign my petition because of fear of retaliation at their tribal jobs," Dodge said.
Oneida Seven Generations is proposing a trash to energy plant that would melt non-recyclable plastics and convert it into energy. OSGC board member William Cornelius insists it a different project than the plan ultimately rejected in Green Bay and other communities. Cornelius says the plan is still in a concept stage and no decisions have been made in regards to the number of smokestacks or other details. He says OSGC board members and others will research the technology before deciding to move forward or not.
Dodge calls the proposal a "waste of tribal resources" and says this project could ultimately damage the Oneida tribe's reputation. But OSGC leaders say they will take their time in planning the facility and won't go forward with a project which threatens the environment.
The Tribal Council, made up of about 2,000 voting members, will discuss the issue at a meeting in May.