GUEST COLUMN: Madison County Landfill a model in management and innovation

By James Goldstein, Chair, Madison County Solid Waste Committee

One individual in Lincoln has been circulating misinformation about Madison County’s landfill operations. This deliberate obfuscation of the facts is causing confusion for our community. I’d like to shed some light and truth on this topic.

We are extremely proud of our landfill practices. For more than 40 years, the landfill has been a model operation. We have made it our priority to manage the landfill to the highest standards while working tenaciously to introduce new technologies and processes to reduce the amount of waste that goes into our landfill.

We created the Agriculture and Renewable Energy Business Park as a designated area surrounding the landfill where private businesses focused on the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle – can be established. The landfill site is an ideal anchor for these businesses because it provides access to waste streams that can be creatively processed for other uses – instead of landfilled.

The introduction of the ARE Park businesses benefits the county by returning as much as 150 acres back on the county, town and school tax rolls (good for our taxpayers), creating jobs (good for our economy) and diverting waste from the landfill (good for our environment).

We are performing our due diligence on one such business – an organic material recycling center. We are carefully scrutinizing this company and asking the tough questions to determine if it is a fit for our site, our mission and our philosophy. There is a recycling center very similar in nature in successful operation in the state of California, which, like New York, has some of the most stringent environmental laws and regulations in the country. The state Department of Environmental Conservation will be required to review the business as well.

We have always been open, honest, and clear with facts that pertain to operations at our landfill. Due to the imperative and sensitive nature of this business, we believe it is absolutely essential that our residents – in host community Lincoln and across Madison County – be well informed of the work that does (and does not) happen at the landfill and at the ARE Park.

To this end, we are hosting an open house event at our landfill facility (6663 Buyea Road, Canastota) Saturday, Aug. 5, from 10 a.m. to noon, to allow the public to see firsthand what our landfill practices entail. Representatives from the ARE Park and our Solid Waste Management team will be on hand to share information and answer questions.

We may be guilty of not publicly boasting enough about our innovative work and the awards we have earned (NYSDEC and NYSERDA both recently gave us accolades), but we have always been open about landfill operations and truly hope our citizens will take advantage of the opportunity to get the facts straight at our open house Aug. 5.

More information about our landfill operations and the ARE Park is available at madisoncounty.ny.gov.

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