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Griffo to Hochul: Examine all options before disposing of surplus hand sanitizer

Published on June 16, 2022

Griffo Joe

ALBANY, NY- New York apparently has a surplus of unused hand sanitizer and one North Country lawmaker says leaders from Albany should at-least examine all options before disposing of it.

"It is my understanding that the state is considering ways of disposing of this sanitizer, including shipping it out of state to be incinerated," Sen. Griffo (R-C-I-ROME) wrote in a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul.

"This would likely be a costly endeavor. Before moving forward with such action, I urge you to thoroughly consider, explore and examine all of the potential options available when it comes to disposing of surplus materials."

Sen. Griffo began looking into the issue after press accounts highlighted more than 700,000 gallons of sanitizer sitting unused on pallets at the New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany.

"I recognize the ever-present need to be prepared if an emergency were to occur," Griffo concluded.

"However, we must ensure that this product does not go to waste and that taxpayer interests are protected."

See Griffo’s full letter to Governor Hochul below:

"Dear Gov. Hochul: 

I am writing regarding the more than 700,000 gallons of NYS Clean sanitizer that currently sits unused at the New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany.  

It is my understanding that the state is considering ways of disposing of this sanitizer, including shipping it out of state to be incinerated. This would likely be a costly endeavor. Before moving forward with such action, I urge you to thoroughly consider, explore and examine all of the potential options available when it comes to disposing of surplus materials. 

Earlier this month, my office spoke with a professor of sustainable environmental systems at a university in my district. The professor outlined some alternative uses for the sanitizer, including potentially using waste to energy conversion facilities to transform the sanitizer into heat, electricity and other sources of power. 

One such waste to energy conversion facility is located in Oswego County. According to information on the county's website, the facility has converted over 1 million tons of municipal waste to usable energy to date. The steam produced by the facility is sold to Lydall, Inc. (formerly Interface Solutions) and is used to generate electricity with the facility's steam turbine generators, which greatly reduces the electric cost to run the facility. If more electricity is produced than what is needed in the facility, then this electricity is sold to National Grid, according to the county. 

Additionally, the professor indicated that cosmetic companies might value the product because the isopropyl alcohol in the sanitizer could be used in the manufacturing of makeup, lotions and fragrances.  

My office also has had initial conversations with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology. 

I recognize the ever-present need to be prepared if an emergency were to occur. However, we must ensure that this product does not go to waste and that taxpayer interests are protected. 

Thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely,  

Joseph A. Griffo - New York State Senator, 47th Senate District."

Image courtesy via the office of New York State Senator Joe Griffo.

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