By New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, 47th District
That’s how much unused NYS Clean sanitizer is reportedly sitting on pallets at the New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany.
Just what is being done with the sanitizer, which was originally produced using prison labor during the Cuomo administration at the start of the coronavirus pandemic?
It’s my understanding that the state is considering ways to dispose of it, including shipping it out of state to be incinerated. However, this would likely be a costly endeavor.
Before moving forward with such action, it is imperative that we thoroughly consider, explore and examine all of the potential options available when it comes to disposing of surplus materials like this sanitizer. I have written to Gov. Kathy Hochul and urged her to do so.
There may be other options besides incineration.
My office recently spoke with a professor of sustainable environmental systems at a university in my district. The professor outlined some alternative uses for the sanitizer, including potentially using waste to energy conversion facilities to transform the sanitizer into heat, electricity and other sources of power.
One such waste to energy conversion facility is located in Oswego County. According to information on the county’s website, the facility has converted over 1 million tons of municipal waste to usable energy to date. The steam produced by the facility is sold to Lydall, Inc. (formerly Interface Solutions) and is used to generate electricity with the facility’s steam turbine generators, which greatly reduces the electric cost to run the facility. If more electricity is produced than is needed in the facility, then this electricity is sold to National Grid, according to the county.
Additionally, the professor indicated that cosmetic companies might value the product because the isopropyl alcohol in the sanitizer could be used in the manufacturing of makeup, lotions and fragrances.
My office also has had initial conversations with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
I recognize the ever-present need to be prepared if an emergency were to occur. However, we must ensure that this product does not go to waste and that taxpayer interests are protected.