Pictured is Sharon Driscoll
By Norm Parry
(New Woodstock, NY – Sept. 2012) A lot of progress has been made in the last two decades in Madison County’s Department of Solid Waste and Sanitation. Recycling in the county has led the way through innovation, education and ecologically responsible policies.
Now, Madison County Recycling Coordinator Sharon Driscoll brings an informative display about the county’s latest waste management innovations to the New Woodstock Free Library. The display, which highlights solar panels, gas utilization and state of the art landfill management, will be at the library through the month of September. The display and associated materials will be available for public viewing during all regular library hours.
Driscoll said the display consists of two three-fold, two-sided display boards and handouts.
“One of the photo displays explains the solar panel construction process, the gas-to-energy facility, the reuse store and a pilot project for collecting agriculture and rigid plastic,” Driscoll said. “There will be recently updated Recycling Guides, mercury disposal brochures, ag and rigid plastic brochures and more.”
“Madison County is the only municipal landfill in the country to have solar panels on its landfill,” Driscoll said. “There are only two privately owned landfills that have solar panels: one in Georgia and one in Texas. The solar panels provide 45 megawatts of power. This power satisfies half of the electrical needs necessary to run the recycling center at the Buyea Road Landfill site.”
According to Driscoll, who has worked with the department for two decades, Madison County partnered with Waste Management, Inc., in 2009 to construct and run a methane gas utilization facility at the Buyea Road landfill site in Lincoln. This private-public partnership has allowed the county to better utilize the methane gas emissions from the landfill and to turn that harmful environmental gas into an energy source.
This process utilizes energy from decomposing garbage; the facility produces roughly 1 MW of electricity.
Driscoll said recovering landfill gas for energy reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
“The annual reduction of greenhouse gases attributed to the Madison County Landfill Gas-to Energy Project is the equivalent of removing over 9,700 cars from the road or planting more than 12 acres of forest,” Driscoll said. “The waste energy produced by the generator processing the methane gas is being used to heat three buildings on site, including the recycling center.”
Driscoll is the recycling coordinator and public relations director for the Department of Solid Waste. She has been the county’s public information officer, and is the former editor of the Cazenovia Republican. Most recently she established “The Reuse Store” at the Buyea Road landfill transfer station in Lincoln.
The store and an adjacent donation center are the result of a partnership with the Rescue Mission of Syracuse.
For more information about the Madison County Department of Solid Waste and Sanitation, visit madisoncounty.ny.gov, call (315)361-8408 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Norm Parry is library director for the New Woodstock Free Library. The library is open Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday and Wednesday evenings 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Find and “like” the library on Facebook. For more information, visit midyork.org/newwoodstock or call (315) 662-3134.