New York State Dilemma: Where to Dump All this Hand Sanitizer?
In the early days of the pandemic, hand sanitizer was the hottest commodity there was. It was near impossible to find it on store shelves. Some people were even purchasing large quantities of vodka from liquor stores in order to make their own. New York State stepped in and produced eleven million gallons of the germ killer via its Corecraft Industries - a private/public cooperative where state prisoners make different products and sell to other state agencies and non profits.
You may remember when then-governor Cuomo held a press conference to tout the new 'New York State Clean Hand Sanitizer', which had a higher alcohol content than Purell.
Bottles and containers were distributed to state agencies, schools, prisons and public parks all over the state. Usually you would find them in the big giant bucket size. As for the smell, I would compare it to that of a frequently used porta potty. And the odor stuck to you for hours, so not surprising that it didn't really catch on.
In fact, now there's a major problem. A storage facility in Oneida County has over 700,000 gallons of the hand sanitizer just sitting there. Governor Hochul wants to send it out of state to be disposed of. Due to the overwhelming amount, it would have to be taken to a hazardous waste facility.
But an Oneida County state senator, Joe Griffo, tells News 10 ABC that there are other, more productive options, in which tax payers wouldn't be charged with the disposal cost:
And we have some great companies here like Estee Lauder, here in New York and I think they look at the value of the isopropyl alcohol and how that can be utilized in the manufacturing of makeup or lotion, things of that nature.
In addition, Griffo says the hand sanitizer could have an energy benefit, where environmental programs at certain New York Universities could convert it into a type of electricity.
The Governor's office says they're looking at all the options.