Opponents Say Trash Facility Near Airport Is for the Birds

Some locals are worried that building a trash facility near the airport could attract geese. It was a flock of birds that brought down a US Airways flight known as the "Miracle on the Hudson."

By DeMarco Morgan
|  Friday, Sep 10, 2010  |  Updated 2:30 PM EDT
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Pilots say the trash could attract birds -- at a time when agencies are already battling the growing feathered population. <a title=DeMarco Morgan reports." />

Pilots say the trash could attract birds -- at a time when agencies are already battling the growing feathered population. DeMarco Morgan reports.

Plans to complete the construction of a trash facility that sits about a half a mile away from the runway at LaGuardia airport has some people bristling.

Not because of the smell, but the unwanted guests it could possibly attract.

The birds!

It was a flock of geese that brought down a US Airways flight 1549 -- also known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

Now some people, including a number of pilots, fear it could happen again claiming the garbage will attract geese and other birds.

Miracle on the Hudson pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger told USA Today, "It's just simply not a smart place to put it.  I'm not opposed to these kinds of facilities, just not within 2,206 feet of one of the nation's busiest runways."

Andrew Pagano, who lives next door to the project in Flushing, Queens, says the geese and the trash facility should both be left alone.

And with the help of a panel, the FAA sided with Pagano after conducting a study that concluded that safety would not be compromised if the facility is constructed and operated in accordance with the report's recommendations.

As for the smell, the New York City Department of Sanitation released a statement saying, "All trash leaves the facility in sealed leak-proof containers. Sanitation operates a similar trash facility on Staten Island and it does not attract birds."

The project is slated to be completed by 2013.
 

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