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County Legislature Approves Third Party Financial Review of Ash to Trash Deal
Friday, July 25, 2014
County Legislature Approves Third Party Financial Review of Ash to Trash Deal
The Cortland County Legislature has approved spending nearly $11 thousand dollars to hire an outside firm to conduct a review of the financial implications of the proposed ash for trash swap with Onondaga County as well as the impacts of enacting a local flow control law.
 
Despite some objections from opponents of the proposed ash for trash swap county lawmakers voted unanimously last night to hire New York City based Environmental Capital to review the finical impacts of the solid waste partnership with Onondaga County.
 
Cortland County is reviewing a proposal that would send 25 thousand tons of trash per year to Onondaga for incineration.

In exchange Cortland County would accept 90 thousand tons of incinerator ash at the local landfill. The partnership is seen as a way to solve falling tonnage issues and escalating financial losses in both communities. Opponents say it is continued investment in an unhealthy waste disposal system and lead to more environmental pollution. 
 
The deal if approved would require Cortland County to build a trash transfer station at an estimated cost of $1 million dollars, but Cortland County has the potential to earn as a million dollars a year in tipping fees for the next 15 years.

Onondaga stands to make a half million a year through increased electricity generation and reduced ash trucking costs.
 
Legislative Chair Susan Briggs says hiring this firm to examine the financial impact is part of the commitment to thoroughly analyze this partnership.
 
As part of the ash to trash review the county is also considering enactment of a local law requiring all garbage generated in the county be brought to the landfill. 
 
A flow control law would help recapture tonnage that is currently leaving the county for other landfills and would help bolster profits at the facility.

The county could enact flow control without moving ahead with the ash to trash swap, the law has been discussed since 2004 as a way to stem on going losses at the landfill.
 
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