Plans are underway to expand Oswego County's landfill for the first time since 1996. The expansion would add more than five acres to the site, but as our Candace Hopkins tells us, using the landfill is just one aspect of the county's trash disposal plan.
FULTON, N.Y. -- In communities throughout the country, finding a way to dispose of trash is an old problem, with very few new solutions.
Here in Oswego County, more than 50,000 tons of waste enter the Bristol Hill Landfill every year. While that sounds a lot, the amount of trash ending up at the facility annually is actually on the decline, according to Oswego County's Director of Solid Waste Programs, Frank Visser. "The amount of trash over the last 20 to 25 years has been reduced, every year there's less trash coming in."
That's a result of several factors including increased recycling, and the county's waste energy facility, where most of area's household trash is reduced to ash before being taken to the landfill.
"We burn the waste, and the only remainder, ash, unburnable material, and which constitutes five to ten percent of the volume coming in," said Visser.
That process is why county officials say Bristol Hill is filling up at a slower rate than expected, but despite those measures, the time has come to begin planning the landfill's next expansion, which would add more than five acres, and enough capacity for the next 25 years of operation.
"We figure we got another six or seven years in the old section, and two to three years, maybe four years, would be a comfortable time frame to get this done," said Visser.
County officials say before going forward the entire project needs approval by the DEC, but sometimes that approval process can be very complicated, which is why they've given themselves such a large head start.
The entire project is expected to cost about $3.5 million. So far the county legislature has approved $1 million of that funding.