By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO November 23, 2004 The much-anticipated report on options for the Sullivan County Landfill was presented by Stephen Lynch of R.S. Lynch & Company, Inc. on Thursday in front of the Executive Committee of the Sullivan County Legislature.
The report supports the countys Phase II expansion of the landfill, which would multiply its size substantially. That move has been forcefully opposed by hundreds of residents who live near the site. They have argued that the smell and alleged health effects are intolerable.
Their opposition has led to the delay of a permit being issued for the smaller Cell 6 expansion by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation so much so that another conference has been scheduled for December 7 to address the countys odor control plan. The conference is scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the hearing room of the Sullivan County Government Center in Monticello.
Legislators have stated the county will need approval by this spring for the expansion, or they will run out of space by the end of 2005.
The 27-page report states that, if the county proceeded with Phase II, they could implement alternative technologies to offset waste buildup and prolong the life of dump site. Those alternatives include in-vessel aerobic co-composting and Taylor Recycling. The Masada project is also named but without the same enthusiasm as the first two. The project is in development in Middletown, but R.S. Lynch & Company do not believe it will become a reality.
The report further argues that importation of waste will not be advantageous to the county economically. The privatization could be a more cost-effective option, but there is no way to know without knowing the details of such an arrangement, states the report.
If the county does not expand into Cell 6 and Phase II, the report recommends the county use its four transfer stations and the landfill as facilities for the transfer of in-county waste for out-of-county disposal.
The county could develop a transfer and export system headed by its Department of Public Works or through privatization, adds the report.
The report strongly urges the county to research the most cost-effective system of transferring its waste.
Underlined is an even more forthright statement: The sale of county transfer stations to private waste management companies without a simultaneous agreement on export cost to residents could create private sector monopolies which would be detrimental to county households and businesses.
Finally, it is recommended that the county consider exploring waste districting, in which a local hauler with the cheapest rate is awarded the right to collect trash in one or more areas. A weekly charge would cover all collection, transfer, transportation and disposals costs.
This arrangement would be an alternative to Cell 6 and Phase II expansion.