Cortland County Holds Public Session on Revised Solid Waste Management Plan
A public information session last night on the county's revisions to the local solid waste plan including the addition of a solid waste partnership between Cortland and Onondaga Counties drew little interest from the community.
The County Legislature held the meeting last night to give residents the opportunity to better understand the Solid Waste Management Plan.
The State DEC requires that every county have a Solid Waste Management Plan in place, and update it periodically. The plan is designed to guide local governments when making decisions to best manage trash and recycling. The plan is updated every 10 years.
The DEC is looking for communities to make significant reductions in the amount of waste that is being generated and sent to landfills. Right now residents in Cortland County generate over 63 thousand tons of trash annually, roughly 27 thousand tons makes its way to the local landfill. Right now about 20% of the waste generated is diverted from the landfill through local recycling programs, the D-E-C wants to see that percentage increase to 60% of material diverted within the next decade.
Provisions in the plan include steps to meet that goal, including removing food waste from the local waste stream and compositing it, in addition greater efforts to recycle construction and demolition debris, and more education on current recycling programs.
County Legislator John Troy who sits on the legislatures solid waste committee says county residents most likely do a better job at recycling than the current figures show, part of the updated plan is to better track current recycling levels and look for areas to improve recycling efforts.
Troy says if the county does move ahead with the trash to ash partnership with Onondaga County where local waste would be shipped to a municipal incinerator and the ash by product would be brought to the county landfill; Cortland County has the opportunity to tap into existing recycling programs in Onondaga such as existing food waste compositing, and construction and demolition recycling without the expense of creating those facilities.
Just because the partnership is included in the Solid Waste Management Plan does not commit the county to the plan.
Another provision in the management plan calls for the county to consider adopting a flow control law, which if passed would require all 63 thousand tons of waste generated locally be brought to the county landfill.
Residents have until June 13th to submit written comments on the plan which is posted on the counties website at www.cortland-co.org