County to expand landfill

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County should see the expansion of its landfill begin sometime next summer.

Director of Solid Waste Frank Visser said planning has been going on for some time on how and when to expand the Bristol Hill Landfill in the town of Volney. He said the county is planning to add another 5.3 acres to the site, which should last the county 10 years.

The cost — $3.5 million. It is one of the biggest factors officials are considering in looking at aspects of the 2015 county budget.

“It costs so much because there are several layers of polyethylene and clay liners that go into the landfill,” Visser said. These liners are built so nothing put into the landfill would ever leak into the ground or groundwater in the area.

Visser said drawings for the expansion are “99 percent complete.” The proposal then has to be reviewed and approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

He said county officials hope to put the project out to bid by Feburary so a contractor can be selected by spring 2015.

“There is a very narrow construction season for this,” Visser said, notig the work cannot be done when it is wet. “We hope to do it next summer.”

The construction will take about three months, he said.

Visser said the landfill has been operated well and has been depositing solid waste on seven acres of land opened in 1996. “That’s phenomenal for a landfill,” he said.

The main reason so little solid waste is being dumped in the landfill is the county’s Energy Recovery Facility in Fulton. Nearly all household garbage is taken there to be burned instead of being dumped in the landfill.

Visser said most of what goes to the landfill is sludge, contaminated soil and construction and demolition debris —things that can’t be burned at the Energy Recovery Facility.

Visser said Oswego County residents are “average” recyclers. When asked what could be done to get people to recycle more, he said programs to increase recycling cost a lot of money to run.

Visser said the Bristol Hill Landfill opened in 1983with 17 acres. There have been five additions since then — the landfill now consists of 40 acres.

Seventeen of the 40 acres have been closed and 23 are still being used.

Visser said the landfill’s 2007 permit was modified to allow the county to expand higher than the 23 acres it is now using.

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