County Waste concerns extend beyond Colonie

Allegations of fraud by County Waste and Recycling, the area's largest trash hauler, come months after the company was cited by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for failing to comply with permit standards.

Earlier this month, a former County Waste employee made allegations that the company bilked the town of Colonie out of more than $15 million.

In the DEC complaints, which were filed in early April, residents in the Hidden Crest subdivision in Clifton Park said strong odors were coming from the mulching operation run by County Waste at the Clifton Park transfer station.

An agreement with the town and County Waste provides weekly curbside trash collection and processing of yard waste for all town residents, as well as free Christmas tree pickup in exchange for three acres at the Clifton Park transfer station for County Waste's mulching operation.

During a Monday, July 21, Clifton Park Town Council meeting, Councilman Sandy Roth said the odors coming from the mulching operation are still prevalent.

While Roth said he realizes the number of people affected by the odor is small compared to the number of people who receive the mulch free from County Waste through an agreement with the town, he still feels the matter needs to be addressed swiftly.

I do realize that when we look at the Hidden Crest area, we're only talking about 20 to 30 families and maybe only 60 residents opposed to 700 who receive free mulch, Roth said.

"To me, the odors are a quality-of-life issue, and the fact that these people are getting mulch and other stuff free is a financial issue; and I feel the quality of life is a much more important and much more predominant issue that should be dealt with and should be dealt with very quickly before we find ourselves perhaps in our own lawsuit," said Roth.

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