Image of overfilled garbage can.

Being part of a community.

I have now spent months fielding mostly respectful dialogues from concerned citizens. I absolutely love these conversations even if we don’t always agree. What I find problematic are the groups that choose to fight even before the facts and science is presented.

These groups offer no concrete solutions to our environmental challenges. When it comes to our waste, the only solutions they offer is to continue the ignorant act of dumping our waste in historically disadvantaged and mostly minority communities.

On a broader view when residents purchase homes in a community, they buy into the whole community not just one part.

All communities are made up of homes, schools, nursing homes, power plants, parks, beaches, industry, commercial activities, retail services and even waste infrastructure. Communities are not communities without all of the required components. That is why the Kings Park Industrial area was created decades ago for industry.

Just because in our town our yards are bigger and greener than most, and our residents can afford to play golf does not mean we don’t have to deal honestly with the complex issues we face as a society.

Instead of opposing just to oppose and creating imagined problems groups should be looking for practical solutions.

It’s not right on any level to push our waste into other communities when we have good practical solutions within the community we all love. To do so is ugly and is a case of being over privileged and entitled. I believe our community is much better than that.

We currently have a garbage patch in the ocean that is 650,000 square miles in size. It is a scientific fact that Suffolk county residents use more pesticides and fertilizers than any other part of New York State.

These pesticides and fertilizers (green lawns) are polluting our groundwater and the Long Island sound.

We have historically dumped our waste in Brookhaven at the expense of those communities. We have a looming waste crisis on Long Island that will affect millions of people. Now is not the time to be playing golf or fighting to fight. We should be using resources to make our island and our world a better place to live for generations to come.

We have problems to fix and now is not the time to sit on podiums of our privilege. We should all be rolling up our sleeves and getting to work!

— Toby Carlson

Image of overfilled garbage can.