Village Could Ban Plastic Bags

Reduce, reuse, recycle East Hampton says

    “It was three plastic bags in tree branches in the water that put me over the edge,” East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. said at a village board meeting last Thursday, while discussing a possible prohibition on plastic bags in the village.
    “I don’t think there’s a downside to this.”
    Southampton Village passed a law banning non-biodegradable bags as of April 28 of this year, allowing merchants in its bailiwick a six-month period to come into compliance.
    Alternatives suggested in the Southampton Village law were reusable cloth bags and recyclable bags that contain “no old growth fiber.”
    “How do you figure out if it’s old growth fiber?” asked Barbara Borsack, an East Hampton board member, who also expressed concern about bags in which some newspapers are delivered.
    Some stores, like Hampton Marketplace on Race Lane, use biodegradable plastic bags, which could also be an option. The board will continue to discuss the matter at a future meeting.
    The board also discussed replacing the heating at the Emergency Services Building, which is “antiquated and inefficient,” according to Larry Cantwell, the village administrator. His suggestion? Getting an evaluation from a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning expert. He also suggested taking advantage of an offer from the New York Power Authority, which is offering low-interest-rate financing for new energy systems in larger buildings.
    The power authority would take a look at the building, and “estimate the gas consumption for an in-kind conversion of the oil-fired system,” according to a letter to the village. It would evaluate the costs and savings for installing natural gas heating at the Emergency Services Building as well as other potential energy-saving measures. If the village moves ahead with the conversion, it will pay nothing for the evaluation. If it does not, it will be billed $3,500.
    The mayor asked if there was a track record with other municipalities which may have worked with N.Y.P.A., and Mr. Cantwell said he would look into it.
    Also last Thursday, the village board passed the $18.4 million budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year.