A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 NOVEMBER 1995

“Local man dies in
tragic Ogden Martin mishap”

Headline in the March 2, 1995, Haverhill Gazette.
The worker died in Ogden’s shredding plant located in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
The plant shreds waste for Ogden’s 700 tpd RDF incinerator in Lawrence, Mass.
Ogden also operates an ash landfill and a 1,650 tpd MSW mass-burn incinerator in Haverhill.

The Haverhill Gazette reported the accident on March 1, 1995: “An Ogden Martin employee is in critical condition with a head injury at Lawrence General Hospital after he was injured at work last night. Gilberto Cintron...was found lying on a stairway bleeding and unconscious near his work station at 7:10 p.m. It was about an hour after he reported in for his 12-hour shift. The injury appears to have been an accident, police said. ‘We don’t know exactly what happened,’ said Steve Yianakopolos, spokesman for Ogden Martin.’ We are actively investigating what happened.’ State Police and officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were at the plant this morning to investigate. Mr. Cintron, the father of three, was working the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift as an in-feed inspector. His job is to inspect garbage before it reaches the plant’s shredder and to remove large pieces that could clog the shredder, said Mr. Yianakopolos. Mr. Cintron stands about 20 yards from the shredder, Mr. Yianakopolos said. He was found on stairs leading from a platform where he works to the shredder. The shredder is in a covered area. When removing a piece of garbage, the procedure is to turn off the conveyor belt, he said. The belt was turned off when Mr. Cintron was found. Co-workers attempted to radio Mr. Cintron after the belt went off because he did not radio them as procedure dictates. When they could not reach him, they went to his area and found him lying on the stairs. ‘Within three minutes of the line being stopped, he was found,’ said Mr. Yianakopolos. Mr. Cintron was hired in November 1992. He works 12-hour shifts 3 1/2 days per week, he said. Ogden Martin incinerates trash for several communities in the region. It is located at the edge of the Ward Hill Industrial Park, near Interstate 495. Mr. Cintron was inspecting trash that goes to the Lawrence plant.” Worker hurt in trash plant mishap, by Rich Demerle and Eileen Pendleton. According to a March 2, 1995, Haverhill Gazette report: “Gilberto Cintron, 32, 170 Washington St., died yesterday afternoon at the Lawrence General Hospital as a result of injures sustained in a tragic industrial accident Tuesday at the Ogden Martin plant. According to Steve Yianakopolos, spokesperson for Ogden martin, there were no witnesses to the accident. He said Cintron was responsible for inspecting a conveyer, which carried refuse to a shredder. When the conveyer stopped workers went to investigate the cause and found Cintron unconscious at the foot of a steel staircase, the victim of obviously severe head injuries. ‘Everyone at Ogden Martin is stunned,’ said Yianakopolos...Stephen O’Connell, a spokesman for District Attorney Kevin Burke, said an autopsy was conducted on Cintron Wednesday by Dr. Gerald Feigin at the Tewksbury State Hospital. ‘Dr. Feigin has determined that the cause of death was accidental,’ O’Connell said this morning. The State Police Crime Prevention and Control unit, the investigative arm of the State Police, was initially called to investigate the incident, but O’Connell said officials determined Cintron died as a result of a fall. ‘Nothing has ever happened like this in my five years in community relations here,’ said Yianakopolos. ‘We have procedures for everything but no one could have expected this...’ Local man dies in tragic Ogden Martin mishap,” by Todd Prussman.

Ogden Martin denied permit to
build MSW incinerator.

“LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Last week the Tippecanoe County Commissioners voted two to one to table for 10 years the plans to have Ogden Martin build a municipal waste incinerator here. There had been much opposition to the plans to build it, but the commissioners dodged the question by citing financial reasons for not pursuing the matter at this time. One of the opponents, Ryan Amptmeyer said, ‘This is a big victory for the community. This area already stinks from the pollution put out by the anti-union A.E. Staley corn syrup plant. We didn’t need another source of irritants.’ The main politician pushing the incinerator is Republican Commissioner Gene Jones. He was recently elected despite public furor over an Anti-semitic remark he made in public comments. Jones wanted to sell steam generated from the incinerator to Purdue University, A.E. Staley and Caterpillar...” People’s Weekly World, Indiana, August 19, 1995, page 5.

Letter to the Ontario, Canada, Ministry of Environment & Energy,
in response to the proposal to lift the ban on MSW incineration, from
Neil J. Carman, Ph.D.
Clean Air Program Director, Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club
PO Box 1931, Austin, Texas 78767. Tel: 512-472-1767. Fax: 512-477-8526.

September 14, 1995.

“I am a former government air pollution inspector of industrial and municipal facilities including incineration units in the state of Texas. As a regional field inspector for the Texas Air Control Board during more than a decade, I observed numerous operational problems and deficiencies with incineration equipment, including state-of-the-art incinerators. Problems occurred day and night!

Most of the incinerators in our territory experienced mechanical and operational problems which were often linked to human error. The result inevitably was that local citizens complained -- even several miles away-- and became outraged that they had to suffer due to the harmful air pollutants emitted during infrequent incinerator malfunctions and upsets. Another result of such problems was that the Texas Air Control Board had to spend valuable resources and limited manpower investigating citizen complaints and finally pursuing enforcement action including legal action through the Texas Attorney General to attempt to obtain full and continuous compliance.

As a consequence of my governmental experience, I am quite skeptical of the ability of incinerators to operate in full and continuous compliance with the most stringent permit requirements. It is technically remote to achieve even 80% continuous compliance.

My greatest concern is for the public who live downwind -- even several miles away from large incinerators-- because they will inevitably suffer over time as I observed from the fallout of toxic particulate matter, unburned hazardous chemicals, a rain of acid gases including hydrochloric acid, and dangerous heavy metals to which human beings and particularly children should not be unnecessarily exposed.

Incinerators malfunction! I observed this problem in all the units I inspected. Even new incinerators may have malfunctions and upset events producing especially high levels of harmful and dangerous air pollution. This is when dioxin and other exceptionally toxic substances will be created and emitted in higher than normal rates into the air. But as an incinerator ages, malfunctions tend to become part of the normal routine of daily operation.

The only safe level of incinerator air pollution is zero! Unfortunately, no incinerator technology in the world can meet a set of zero emissions standards. Another unfortunate fact is that most incinerators even have difficulty passing the trial burns.

What is most unfortunate of all is that virtually all incinerators do not perform on a normal daily basis nearly as efficiently as during trial burns when operational conditions are idealized as much as possible. Once the trial burn is complete, normal daily operations will tend to become complacent and sloppy. Without government inspectors on hand on a routine basis, sloppiness will seriously erode the efficiency of the incineration process by failing to perform as much preventive maintenance, failing to find problems as promptly, failing to operate equipment as required, and other problems will creep into the operations.

All incinerators are ultimately doomed to have failures in all aspects of their process. My experience revealed that no matter how good the technology, how well trained the personnel, and how effective the process monitoring systems, there will be major failures leading to high levels of emissions during major upset events. Simply stated, the potential is that the community will be poisoned slowly but surely until the incineration is permanently halted.

Incineration even of garbage is merely trading one set of manageable problems for another set of more difficult problems. Incineration is not a real solution. It is simply a shell game of creating more toxic substances for your citizens to breathe from the garbage. Banning incineration is the most enlightened approach to incineration. Pollution prevention and recycling go hand-in-hand to more effectively avoid pollution problems up front, but pushing waste incineration seriously undermines pollution prevention programs and recycling efforts.

The future is not in waste incineration! Fortunately, the enlightened people of Ontario perceived incineration was not in their future in 1992 by banning it from their communities. Ontario’s children are the future! Banning garbage incineration permanently will help to guarantee that Ontario’s children have the healthy future they deserve.”

Ogden Martin offers “Witnessed Burns” at its Haverhill, Massachusetts, incinerator.

According to Brent Baeslack of the Haverhill Environmental League, Ogden Martin offers “Witnessed Burns.” An example of a “witnessed burn”: a corporation wants assurance that old documents were disposed of. For a hefty sum (Baeslack said it was $600) Ogden will certify that the material was hand-carried into the main feed chute. Ogden also burns “special waste” from corporations, the FBI, DEA, State and local police. For more info, contact Brent Baeslack at 508-374-6529.

Waste Not packet on Ogden Martin available: back issues include WN #s: 10, 21-26, 28-31, 36, 37, 52, 56, 57, 65, 68, 70, 71, 74, 77, 79, 81, 84, 87, 88, 92, 94, 105, 107, 116, 118, 119, 122, 124, 134-137, 140, 150, 172, 173, 175, 181, 194, 197-199, 209, 210, 212-214, 218, 225, 230, 237, 245, 247, 250, 251-262, 267, 270, 271, 273, 285-291, 293-295, 311, 313, 318, 341-343, 345, 346, 349, 350. A total of 98 for the special (!) price of $30 for subscribers (past and present); $35 for all others. (Canada, same price; overseas subscribers = $45; others, $50). Individual newsletters = 50 cents each.

WASTE NOT # 350. A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year. Annual rates are: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Students & Seniors $35; Individual $40; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian $US50; Overseas $70.

Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, New York 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.