Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shining Example of Succesful Activism: Williams Township!

I consider the active residents one of our closest "Neighbors of Easton", Williams Township, to be a shining example of neighbors coming together to fight for positive change and to prevent negative change in their community. They are fighting the expansion of a huge landfill in their area, have been fighting steadily for years, and have succeeded so far in preventing the Chrin Landfill from becoming an even bigger polluted eye-sore than it already is--check out this article in the Express Times:

Express Times Article on Williams Township Residents Fighting Landfill Expansion

I know fighting for change can be frustrating at times, and it is definitely an endurance game. I know someone from the Williams Township citizen group named Robe, and according to her, they have about 1500 residents that have participated at one point or another over the years, with about 150 "highly active" members. This is about 10%, but at 150 active members, they can fill City Hall and make themselves heard. I have about 120 readers on this blog who are WW neighbors and I would classify about 30 as "active" in terms of having attended multiple meetings (outside of town hall meetings--that number is about 50--and when it comes to voting, we are all pretty much active voters) over the past year and a half. That's 25% -- which is great, but the more we build our numbers, the more of a voice we will have at City Hall and County Council.

Progress comes slowly, but if we don't allow ourselves to get worn out or frustrated to the point of throwing up our hands, patience and persistence will win in the end.

I am posting the article above to congratulate our friends in Williams Township for your steady and successful fight over the past several years--we admire you and are cheering you on!


Anonymous said...

I guess when New Jersey residents were sending us their garbage it was okay because they didn't live here. I find it totally ironic that now that many of the township residents have moved in that they don't want the landfill. Its a clean landfill and operated better than 90% of the landfills in the country. So what do we do with the garbage that can't be recycled........I guess our new residents will want us to send it to Jersey and NY.

This landfill is needed -- by all of us.

noel jones said...

On the contrary, the group fighting the landlfill is over 1500 members--old and new residents. Their two main complaints, from what I've gathered, are the stench, and the eyesore of it all as it is already a huge heap and will become a mountain of garbage visible from the road. It will also drastically reduce the property values of the residents who do not live by it now, but will, when it expands.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous -- Better operated that 90% of the landfills in the country? Apparently you missed the 24+ years of cleanup required due to ground water contamination, this landfill is still a national Superfund site, so no matter where you live you in America have been paying for the cleanup of this site for decades. Other landfills in our area are more appropriately located geographicly, and have not been proven to hold the health dangers of this Superfund site. Yes, until Americans learn to recycle we will have a need for landfills, but they must be properly placed and managed. Since garbage is the #1 import in Pennsylvania we must use the newest technologies and information available, not repeat our past mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, that landfill has been there, originally as an open dump prior to the Chrin involvement, since the early 20's. Secondly, the taxpayers have not paid for this site's cleanup. The company and all the industries that used this site paid for the cleanup. Read the paper and get the facts. I know because I worked for one of the companies cited in the cleanup.

As for other landfills in the area being located better geographically I would say I disagree. The Bethlehem Landfill is right near I-78 and also affects several Boroughs and the one in the north is located riht in Pen Argyl --- oh that's right that's not your backyard.

As far as property values, duh? Didn't you see the landfill? Oh right, you got a much better deal on your house because of it's LOCATION by the landfill. Come on let's be honest, this is simply a NIMBY issue.

As far as smell and blown garbage. If that is a problem then PADEP should be called and Chrin should be responsible to address the odor and rampant garbage.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous,
I do not think that landfills should be in anyone's backyard -- including yours. After the ground water was contaminated, residents were forced to connect to the city water supply at their own expense. There have been many odor and air quality complaints verified by the DEP in recent years. The EPA oversees and maintains this Superfund site, unfortunately the polluters were only able to pay for a portion of the cleanup. Happy to hear you were part of that effort!