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Residents Voice Concerns Over Proposal To Transport NYC's Trash By Train To Chester

By Diana Rocco

CHESTER, Pa., (CBS) -- There is some "trash talk" Wednesday night in Chester, but not the kind you're thinking.

Some residents there are saying no to trains full of trash from New York City.

As Eyewitness News reporter Diana Rocco explains, trash already makes its way from the Big Apple to the Covanta facility on Highland Avenue and residents fear there could be more down the road.

"I want to live.  And to me, murder is murder, whether it is with a gun or with chemicals," resident Sheila Hyland said.

New York City's trash shipped to Chester to be incinerated has infuriated residents.

"It's a nightmare," resident Lori Cross said.

"I have asthma, I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, I have all kinds of allergies," Hyland said.

At a planning board meeting Wednesday, residents sounded off about a new trash train proposal. It would bring nearly 400,000 tons of garbage by rail from New York. The trash now comes by truck to the Covanta facility to be burned.

"It's the idea of bringing in more trash in an area that has residents. Simple as that it shouldn't be done," resident Carole Burnett said.

But the company insists the amount of trash won't change, just the method of transportation.

"There's no increase amount of waste that we would receive on a daily basis and there's no increase in the processing rate of the facility," John Waffenschmidt of Covanta said.

After hearing the plan which calls for an additional building and residents concerns, the planning board decided to put off a vote for 30 days until they can tour the facility.

Still people like Lori Cross who has five children says they've been living next to the site for decades and every day the decision is delayed her family suffers.

"The smells that come out of there, you can't open windows, you can't go outside," resident Lori Cross said.

Once the planning committee tours this facility to see how trash is dealt with, they will then make their decision. Covanta is hoping to bring in their garbage by train by the end of the summer.

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