Press-Republican

March 7, 2014

Extra landfill space to be leased

DENISE A. RAYMO
Press-Republican

MALONE — A planned $17 million expansion at the Franklin County Regional Landfill — 11 years in the making — will go out to bid March 12.

During a presentation Thursday before the County Legislature, Landfill Executive Director George Eades said enough space exists in the dump to last until February 2015.

He said the three new planned 7.5-acre cells would provide enough room to hold the 80,000 tons of trash generated in the county per year.

The current trash disposal allowed at the Solid Waste Management Authority’s property is 77,000 tons a year, and the allowable tonnage per year, according to the State Department of Environmental Conservation operational permit, is a maximum of 125,000 tons.

So Eades said his agency will seek bidders to lease its unused disposal space and hold the money earned in a reserve account to finance construction of future garbage cells. 

The proposal, which will be paid for across 30 years, includes construction of a 1 million-gallon leachate-collection system and a new maintenance shop to repair equipment and vehicles used at the Route 20 operation, which straddles the towns of Westville and Constable.

Eades said there are no customers identified for the available cell space and that local tip fees will not be reduced — at least not for the next two years.

But if an entity does want a contract, it would pay for the space it uses and also for any space it expected to fill but didn’t.

That protects the county from having a repeat of its gentlemen’s agreement with Essex County, where Franklin County accepted its trash and counted on the volume to meet its financial goals only to have its neighbor find a cheaper disposal option in Glens Falls without notice.

“What could we do?” Eades said, adding that having terms spelled out in a binding contract, instead of a verbal agreement like in the past, means a potential new customer can’t say: “‘We found a cheaper place to take it. Sayonara.’”

These kinds of new contracts are made possible by the authority, for the first time, adopting a federal guideline that allows it to enter into longer-term contracts instead of being limited to 30 days.

Email Denise A. Raymo:draymo@pressrepublican.com