Landfill RFP issued, but not without debate

The town of Colonie voted to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Landfill Operating Agreement with a 6-1 vote on Thursday, Jan. 20, but not without some contention.

Before the Town Board in Colonie had a chance to vote on the resolution, a Latham resident used his public comment time to suggest two options for the landfill he felt were important that the town had not considered.

The RFP, which would allow the town to partner with a private company in operating the town's landfill, left Ken Champagne wondering why they had not looked into two alternatives he felt would benefit Colonie.

One of them was the idea of using flow control, which would have all the trash in the town going to the landfill through private haulers. He said it would allow the landfill to receive enough trash to stay at full capacity.

Division of Public Works Commissioner Jack Cunningham said that would essentially create another tax for residents, which he said is something the town is trying to avoid.

What we're trying to do is raise revenues without raising taxes, he said. "So, we're looking at this asset to see if we can leverage it using the free-market system to maximize our return."

Councilman Dan Hornick, a member of the Landfill Exploratory Committee, agreed with Cunningham and said he didn't think that would be utilizing the landfill for its original intent.

"We want to maximize the value of the landfill and keep it as an asset to the taxpayers," he said. "Not have the taxpayers supporting the landfill."

Another one of Champagne's suggestions was to create a transfer station and send the waste out to a location in possibly Western New York through either a rail line or other forms of transportation.

"I find it difficult that this type of operation with a private company will yield the results this town needs," he said. "It's going to be very difficult to produce enough income to take care of the current debt load."

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