Gershow rail transfer plan pitched to town

Medford company applies for construction and debris permit


In an attempt to be proactive regarding the closing of the Brookhaven Town Landfill in 2025, Gershow Recycling Corporation has applied to Brookhaven Town for a construction and debris permit, that if approved, would enable acceptance of truckedin construction and debris material to be shipped out by rail from their L-2, six-acre Peconic Avenue location in Medford.

The rail transfer would take place entirely within a 39,000-squarefoot building to be built, employing about a dozen employees, said Kevin Gershowitz, president of Gershow Recycling Corporation. “We want to be part of the solution when they close,” he said, adding the business plan took 18 months to prepare.

The trucked-in loads would consist of materials like concrete, kitchen cabinets and old roofing shingles. “On work in the home, it’s the wood, sheetrock, carpet, old ceramic tile, cutoffs from wood, tile and roofing in new construction,” he said.

All recyclable material is pulled out before it gets to Gershow.

“No solid waste. Just construction debris,” he emphasized.

As for the procedure, a truck would enter the company’s grounds, proceed to within the building and dump the material, which will have been inspected, into a rail car located on their spur. It will then be transported by a freight train out of state.

Gershowitz said the company had no control of the MTA LIRR freight train schedule, but “most of the time [the freight transfer is] during the day,” he added.

A Department of Environmental Conservation permit will be submitted shortly, he said.

Up to 500 tons a day would be accepted.

Approximately 130 vehicles a day will be utilizing the site on Peconic Avenue. “It would mean maybe five to 10 an hour,” Gershowitz said. “We’ll operate during normal business hours that are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.” A height variance is being applied for to accommodate the trucks that enter the building.

When asked about noise, Gershowitz said, “We don’t expect any. It’s a normal industrial building. And we don’t anticipate trucks queuing on the roadway. There’s a separate entrance and separate exit. The building is set back quite far.”

The project, he admitted, has a ways to go before town approval, which will include public hearings.

“I would anticipate just a normal site plan process takes a year,” he said. “Once we’re given the right to put a shovel in the ground, construction starts six to eight months after.”

A meeting, he said, already too place with officials of the Medford Taxpayers and Civic Association.

“It went well,” he said.

Brett Houdek, president of the Medford Taxpayers and Civic Association, said he and their executive board met at the Gershow Recycling headquarters, along with the Medford Chamber president and vice president earlier last week.

“It did go well,” Houdek agreed. “But I have to bring it to my membership for them to have a say. [Gershowitz] was very forthright. If it’s just construction waste, that’s okay, but if this opens it up to other transfer waste on Peconic Avenue, then that’s something else.”

Houdek said Gershowitz was willing to present his project to the membership.

“With COVID, we haven’t been able to meet at the firehouse,” he said. “But we told him, ‘We’ll get you over to our first resumed meeting.’” Brookhaven Town planning commissioner Beth Reilly was asked if any other rail transfer project applications like the Gershow project had been filed.

“We don’t have any right now,” she said. “We know about the one Brookhaven Rail Terminal will be submitting, but it hasn’t come in to the town clerk for special permit or change of zone yet.”