Waste not, want not

Awards for “clean and green,” with politics thrown in for good measure

BY KATHY KAHN

Rockland Business Association “Green” Award winners: Joe DeFrancesco, Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority; David Ortiz, Orange & Rockland; and Chris Graziano, United Water
Rockland Business Association “Green” Award winners: Joe DeFrancesco, Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority; David Ortiz, Orange & Rockland; and Chris Graziano, United Water

The brouhaha brewing over United Water’s desalination plant was left at the door at the Rockland Business Association’s 4th Annual Green Council Awards luncheon.

RBA Green Council chair Michael Shilale and Rosemarie Monaco of Group M, presented awards to Orange & Rockland, Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority and United Water at the Paramount Golf Club on October 17.

Orange & Rockland and RCSWMA were recognized for their hands-on initiatives, working on site to help businesses save money and reduce their carbon footprint by installing energy-saving equipment and making the most proactive use of their recycling a priority.

United Water was recognized for its ongoing effort to encourage both business and residents to conserve water, with Monaco telling the audience Rockland uses the lowest amount of water per user in the U.S, averaging 66 gallons a day per person–the national average of 100 gallons a day.

Before the awards ceremony took place, RBA President Al Samuels told members he was frustrated by the lack of interest in trying to create true tourism in the county, something he said Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been heavily promoting as a way for the state to raise much-needed capital.

“There is a task force in all ten of the NYS Economic Development Council regions,” said Samuels. “We’ve asked Rosemarie Monaco, co-chairing with Dutchess County’s Mary Kay Vrba, to represent Rockland on the task force….our Hospitality and Tourism Alliance is getting attention, but tourism in Rockland would be adversely affected by the ‘living wage’ proposal, which was vetoed by Scott Vanderhoef.”

With three weeks left before voters went to polls, Samuels personally endorsed Ed Day. “I know both men, I like them both and consider them friends. We held a forum here which was well received, and I’ve attended the debates. Both candidates have economic development on the forefront of their agendas. We have the worst bond rating and are the most significantly stressed county in the region and that has to change, but I believe Ed Day’s approach will do a more significant job for Rockland County.”

Samuels got his candidate of choice: Ed Day won the election easily on November 5.