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OP-ED: Response to ‘long-haul’ garbage truck story

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  • Digital Team 

Editor’s Note: The following is an op-ed shared by Mark Benjamin and others from Seneca Meadows Landfill in response to a story published on July 1, 2024 titled “Long-haul garbage trucks use shortcuts across rural roads, triggering town resolutions against landfill expansion.” Those who have signed on are listed at the bottom of the op-ed.

We have all worked with Kyle Black for years, and witness his dedication to his job, and building a stronger community on a daily basis. He is a person of integrity, who regularly goes out of his way to help others.

Sadly, Mr. Mantius’ obsession with all things Seneca Meadows has resulted in another article attacking Kyle’s character, twisting and distorting different quotes into one, changing the context and meaning.

The distortions and misstatements are present throughout, and starts with truck traffic on local roads. There simply cannot be 250 Seneca Meadows bound trucks per day driving through Skaneateles. That would be ALL trucks we take in most days. Fact is Seneca Meadows has a long-standing requirement of ALL long haul trucks utilizing our facilities to stay on our Interstate roads to get to Seneca Meadows via Exit 41 on the NYS Thruway. 

It’s unprofessional and dangerous. It’s also not surprising. In twelve other states, Mr. Del Plato’s shameful scheme to secretly record a meeting is considered a felony, and Kyle Black deserves better.

We encourage residents to take the time to listen to the entire recording. It demonstrates Mr. Black’s reasonable and responsible approach to the essential landfill operation, the advancement of the safety for the people who work there.  His professionalism is again on display when he asked Mr. Del Plato and Mayor Richardson to go on facts and first-hand experience, and asks everyone at the meeting if they can, “find common ground.”

The Del Plato secretly recorded meeting clearly points out Seneca Meadows is truly an essential operational infrastructure the Village of Interlaken and its residents rely on for their use not only for sewage sludge, but also for household waste.  

The clandestine recording demonstrates Mr. Del Plato lacks a basic understanding of the infrastructure of their own Village that residents elected them to manage, along with the essential services, environmental protections, recycling, and renewable energy the Seneca Meadows team and its partners provides for its customers and communities.

Clearly this article and the author of it are biased and purposely omitted key information.  There is much more to the story here.  

In a highly politicized world, we should not be forced to rely on news sources that fail to provide the whole story, and construct partial and misleading quotes to make someone or something look bad. We all deserve more.  

Advocates masquerading as journalists are increasingly more common. A journalist should have more respect for their profession and their readers. 


  • Mark Benjamin
  • Scott Zimmerman
  • Tyler Woodard
  • Allen Larsen
  • David Pannucci
  • Josh Emerson
  • Denise VanDuyne
  • Willie Neuman
  • Mike Soler
  • Jordan Soler
  • Robert Hultz
  • Anna Hrynek
  • Scott Knowlton
  • Scotty Knowlton
  • Rocky LaRocca