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Two Wayne County company officials plead guilty in e-waste scandal

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York state Attorney General Letitia James and Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos declared the guilty pleas of two company representatives in connection with the illegal processing of 800 tons of hazardous electronic waste (e-waste). Alton Plumb Jr., owner of ALPCO Recycling in Macedon, and Craig Foster, project manager of the Rochester-based Finger Lakes Cleanup and Recycling Consultants, have both been convicted, following a multi-agency investigation including the AG’s office, DEC, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The controversy began in 2015 when a substantial volume of e-waste was discovered deserted at the Geneva Enterprise Development Center, consisting of hazardous television and computer monitors containing lead. In 2016, Finger Lakes Cleanup was assigned the e-waste cleanup task. Despite awareness that ALPCO lacked the requisite permit for hazardous waste processing, Foster, representing his firm, collaborated with Plumb to process and improperly dispose of the e-waste. The ALPCO site was eventually cleaned up, with all residual damaged e-waste lawfully discarded as hazardous waste, funded by ALPCO.

Under New York’s Environmental Conservation Law, e-waste demands lawful disposal through fitting waste or recycling channels. Foster, along with Finger Lakes Cleanup, recently admitted guilt for misdemeanor and felony counts associated with unlawful e-waste handling, receiving a conditional discharge and fines totaling $10,000. Earlier, Plumb and ALPCO acknowledged violations of the same law, incurring fines and a DEC agreement that mandated Plumb to cover $225,000 in civil penalties for permit and Environmental Conservation Law breaches.