Colonie dump on track for expansion

No new costs for town as new cells to open in 2018 as planned

— The Town of Colonie’s Solid Waste Management Facility is on track to open new cells in 2018 as planned.

At the Town Board meeting Thursday, April 10, the town passed a resolution authorizing the supervisor to execute and submit paperwork to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the planned expansion of the landfill.

The expansion will use land that is already part of the landfill and will come at no additional cost to taxpayers.

“The goal is to have the permit modification completed in two years because construction is going to take two years,” said Jack Cunningham, Colonie public works commissioner. “The current cell is expected to be filled by 2018; that’s always been the plan. The goal is to have the entire approval process take place by 2016.”

Cunningham said it is important to start the process early.

“Part of the plan is to put a cell in where the leachate pond is right now so they move the leachate and build tanks,” said Cunningham.

Leachate refers to a liquid that passes through decomposing solids and retains chemicals or pollutants that are undesirable. The liquid flows through the waste and into a pond where it is collected.

In 2011, Colonie awarded a contract to Waste Connections, Inc. to operate the landfill, but the town still retains ownership. The 25-year, $100 million contract to privatize the landfill was one of the ways the town was able to shrink its multimillion dollar deficit.

Since the town still owns the landfill, it is required to submit the paperwork, but there is no additional cost. If the town were still running the dump, it would be required to pay for the process, which could cost nearly $10 million, according to town officials.

Cunningham said the dump is not expanding outside of the area it already owns or purchasing any new land. The expansion is expected to add approximately 25 years to the life of the dump.

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