Landfill still accepting waste until full

Officials expect closure by 2028


The 50-acre landfill is Brookhaven Town property, located at 350 Horseblock Road in Yaphank. The landfill was expected to close by 2024, but due to space and New York State engineers, will not close until completely filled.

According to deputy supervisor Dan Panico, the site is expected to close to C&D, commercial and demolition debris, by 2024. It is not anticipated to close to household incinerated ash until 2028.

“We have to fill it; we were permitted by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to fill it,” he said, noting that there has to be a certain slope adhered to when capping it. “It will likely be a couple months into 2028; that’s when it will reach final capacity.”

During this time and after closure, Panico said, residents of Brookhaven Town will continue to put their garbage out twice a week and recycling once a week to the curb. The company, Covanta, is still contracted to collect the garbage, which will continue to be incinerated, regardless of placement. Panico also said the town is continuing to promote recycling efforts and seeking markets for those commodities.


The east side is the original landfill cell 1-4, which was capped and closed in the 1980s after collecting years of municipal waste. Cell 6 will be approximately 71.3 percent capped following the current cap project going out to bid this summer. The site is monitored by the NYSDEC with inspections throughout the year.  Today, it is totally vegetated with grass and purple thistle, and populated by multiple native animals including deer, fox and groundhogs. There are also wild turkeys on the site as well as a few visiting bald eagles.

The entire landfill is enclosed by a tree buffer by 50 feet in some areas and as much as 300 feet in others. The outside world is hard to detect until atop the over 270-foot mound.

Near the original fill is an old and decommissioned flare stack neighboring a new, highly efficient stack recently built for about $2 million. The stack is 130 feet high and filters gas emissions through a series of filters to help regulate gases from the bottom of the landfill before becoming odorous. Also within the landfill are a series of black collection pipes, helping regulate the water leachate with valves and a loop system.

The most recently capped area of the landfill is capped by new technology that is completely impermeable and produces virtually no leachate, which equates to no odors. On the west side of the landfill, there are two pumps for the leachate collection, which are odor-controlled by hydrogen peroxide, and eventually pumped by trucks and hauled out to the Bergin Point Sewage Treatment Plant.

Traveling around the landfill, there is the active fill open to ash and commercial and demolition area. The C&D and ash are covered by material and will eventually be capped. The town collects about 750 to 1,000 pounds of C&D and ash per day. Water trucks, to help monitor the dust, also continuously spray the site down.

Also located at the landfill is the recycling center; there is also an area where natural yard waste is collected, including wood, which is repurposed into mulch and topsoil. The site also currently helps facilitate recycling materials such as paint, batteries, light bulbs, oil, appliances, and other highly pollutant materials, at no cost to the taxpayer. Those services are funded by the landfill.

Post-landfill, the transfer station, which neighbors Horseblock Road, might still be operational to collect the municipal waste and transfer it “elsewhere,” though, according to town officials, policymakers have yet to come to a decision.


The landfill currently has about 65 employees, who will likely shift gears to maintenance once the site closes sometime on or about 2028. Most landfills require about 30 years or more of monitoring, as per the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which also has a full-time town paid employee monitoring the site daily.

The landfill is about 70 percent capped. The site, with Brookhaven supervisor Ed Romaine’s vision, will ultimately become an energy park.


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