Stop dumping on Kearny (1992)

Editor’s note: The following editorial appeared on The Observer’s Opinion Page on Thursday, Jan. 16, 1992. What’s the old saying? The more things change, the more they stay the same? Within the editorial, anything italicized is newly added for 2019. With gratitude to Capt. Timothy Wagner, of the Kearny Police Department, for unearthing this gem.

Stop dumping on Kearny

Mention the name Kearny to anyone who lives outside the area and the response is usually always the same: “That’s where they dump all the garbage.”

Unfortunately, they are correct in their response.

For too long, Kearny and a large part of the Meadowlands below Rt. 3 have been known as the “Garbage Capital of New Jersey.” It’s sad that this pristine area, home to many species of wildlife, has to be known all over the northeastern United States by that moniker.

When the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission (HMDC) was formed in 1968, two of the commission’s founding sponsors, then-Sen. Farleigh Dickinson and a young assemblyman named Thomas Kean, promised local residents that the dumps that dotted the area, and come to be known as the Kearny Mountains, would be transformed into playgrounds, recreation areas, parks and golf courses.  That was nearly 25 years ago (let’s make that 51 years ago in 2019 terms). What has happened to this promise?

The HMDC now has a plan for the Kearny Meadows. The commission wants to put another garbage dump on the site of the one that was closed over 20 years ago (make that 47 years ago now). The HMDC calls its proposal a non-recycling center, a place where used construction material can be stored (sound familiar in today’s terms?)

The HMDC isn’t fooling anyone. The material it wants to place at the site cannot be used for anything. Therefore, it’s just plain old garbage.

At a hearing on the proposal last week (27 years ago), more than 100 Kearny residents came to voice their opposition to the proposal (again, sound familiar?) A second meeting is being planned at Kearny High School within the next two to three weeks (Or, April 11, 2019).

Having 100 people voicing an objection (again, familiar?) will not change the HMDC’s mind on the dump. One thousand voices may (or, in 2019 terms, it probably won’t)

We urge everyone in Kearny and in neighboring communities to make every effort to attend the next meeting (at a date to be determined, 1992) (April 11, 2019) to voice their objections (again).

Kearny has been dumped on long enough. It’s time to turn the meadows into something of beauty, not another eyesore.

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