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October 12, 2011

 

County considers landfill cover materials

Legislature will vote Oct. 27 on solid waste law changes to allow BUDs, outside trash

By CATHERINE WILDE
Staff Reporter
cwilde@cortlandstandard.net

There are four state-approved materials the county could start immediately using as cover at its landfill, state environmental officials said at a Highway Committee meeting on Tuesday.
The county has been grappling with the idea of generating more revenue by accepting state-approved waste materials — known as Beneficial Use Determinants — to use as cover. The county is also considering allowing outside trash and has drafted a revision to its solid waste law to allow BUDs and outside trash.
The changes do not specify which BUDs would be allowed. That decision will be made later.
The committee Tuesday authorized by a 4-2 vote moving the proposed solid waste law changes to the Legislature for review on Oct. 27.
Legislators Susan Briggs (R-Cortlandville) and John Troy (D-1st Ward) were opposed. Legislator Jennifer Gofkowski (D-Homer) was absent.
County officials invited state Department of Environmental Conservation representatives to explain Beneficial Use Determinant materials to the Highway Committee Tuesday.
The state approves certain wastes as Beneficial Use Determinant materials, said Tim DeJulio, regional materials management engineer for the DEC in Syracuse.
DeJulio said 16 generic materials meet the criteria from the department and are automatically determined to have a beneficial use for landfill purposes. Four examples of these are news print, tire chips, glass chips and nonhazardous petroleum-contaminated soils.
The county would have to carefully consider what materials to use as cover at the landfill, since not all would be suitable.
Nonhazardous petroleum-contaminated soils, coal ash, tire chippings and recycled shredded automobile materials are the four materials the county could use as cover without further DEC authorization, DeJulio said.
There are hundreds of other materials the state determined to have a beneficial use for landfill purposes and the county could request other materials for consideration as well, DeJulio said.
“BUD material is material the department prefers out of the waste stream and a favorable material we like to see, if determined, come in,” DeJulio said.
The county could consult with experts on what to accept as daily cover at the landfill, DeJulio said.
County Administrator Martin Murphy said the news is promising.
“If there were a particular biproduct of a commercial use we thought was suitable for fill we could have it analyzed for all its components, sent to the DEC and we may or may not get a permit from them to use that material for landfill use,” Murphy said.
The county will have to analyze whether it is cost-effective to go through this process, he said.
The county has about a $750,000 annual loss between operations and debt at the landfill and recycling center.
Syracuse-based engineering firm Barton and Loguidice is study the ramifications of changing the solid waste law.
For $2,500 the firm will complete the required form for the state environmental quality review, which is needed before the county changes its solid waste law.
Legislator Kathie Arnold (D-Cuyler, Solon and Truxton) said after the meeting she was assured by DeJulio’s explanation of petroleum contaminated soils. DeJulio said the soils are approved as BUDs after they have been tested in a lab to ensure their leachate is not contaminated. This means that when water is forced through the soil, the run off is not polluted.
Legislators will vote on the local law at the session later in the month and approval will be contingent upon the SEQR revealing there would be no adverse impact to changing the law.

 

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