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G'land trash switch gets Bethlehem thinking

Cunningham said it is the city's landfill, so the $41 million proposed expansion will be the city of Albany's responsibility, not the municipalities in the solid waste consortium.

He later told The Spotlight, "We are under no financial obligations in terms of the landfill, we are just a customer."

"The town only does what comes out of the Rupert Road station, the private haulers in this town also operate under our permit with ANSWERS, so they need access to that facility in order to move refuse," said Cunningham. "They're very conscience of their costs, so they do look for other opportunities to dump for lower rates."

Cunningham said the capping of its construction landfill means the town will have more debris to transport from its transfer station and that Bethlehem will be looking at options other than the Rapp Road landfill.

"From what I understand, the Colonie landfill charges slightly more for residential waste but charges significantly less for its construction debris than the Rapp Road landfill," Cunningham said.

He indicated Bethlehem may be looking at making arrangements with Colonie to send its construction debris from local developers.

Councilman Kyle Kotary said he can see both sides of the issue.

"As an environmentalist, I'd hate to see an expansion into the Pine Bush," he said. "But on the other hand, I can see [Albany's] side, too, as they have a financial interest in the landfill."

Cunningham said the town hasn't taken a stance "one way or the other" about Albany's proposed expansion, but that the town is still a participating member of solid waste consortium.

Councilman Mark Hennessey voted against the town's continued participation in the consortium.

"As for the situation with the Albany landfill I voted against an ANSWERS-related motion a few weeks ago " and was the only no vote," he said. "I have questioned the arrangement we entered into and will continue to do so. I am glad that Supervisor Cunningham and the rest of the board are leading by looking at alternatives."

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