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Colonie approves new landfill agreement

The Colonie Town Board passed a resolution to award the contract to Waste Connections, Inc., for an operational agreement for the town's landfill in a 6-1 vote.

After three hours of hearing from residents of the town, and sometimes its neighbors from the town of Halfmoon, the board was finally able to put the resolution up for a vote. The conversation strayed from previous ones regarding the dumping rates and the possibility of an expansion of the landfill to the odor emitted from the landfill. Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth came with several residents to express their fear over the environmental impact of having a large company like Waste Connections come in and manage the landfill. The main concern was that if it were to expand or increase the amount of airspace consumed, that would mean a more potent smell of garbage would waft over into Halfmoon.

The landfill's possible expansion is a regional issue, not a local issue, said Henrietta O'Grady, a resident of Halfmoon. "There is a large suburban population that is directly impacted. When the south winds go, we receive whatever odors are emitted from the landfill."

Jeanne Warzek, another resident of Halfmoon, went as far as to say that residents of Colonie won't have to deal with the smell as much as they do.

"There was no consulting with the Town of Halfmoon in any way," she said, "This will probably affect us more than any of the residents of Colonie."

Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan plainly pointed out something that seemed to had been lost in the conversation, the town always had the option to expand the landfill as well.

"The potential has always been there," she said. "The Town could ask to expand the landfill. I do know the town, in the past, has increased tonnage. We also bought land with the intent to provide the option for the future if we wanted to act on those [cells]."

She went on to say that she hopes to keep a working relationship with the town of Halfmoon and that she hopes to keep an open flow of information between the two towns.

Department of Public Works Commissioner Jack Cunningham said the town will no finish negotiations with Waste Connections and will start a transitioning period where the town will be moving its equipment out of the landfill facility and into storage nearby so Waste Connections can move in. There will also be a 30 day period until the contract is fully executed.""

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