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Cortland County Considers Use of Incinerator Ash For Landfill Cover

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Cortland County Lawmakers are considering accepting incinerator ash at the county landfill on a limited basis while they debate a larger ash for trash swap with Onondaga County.

County leaders on the Solid Waste Committee have directed County Highway Superintendent Phil Krey to meet with the Onondaga Recovery and Resource Agency to discuss a limited agreement that would bring a smaller amount of ash to the local landfill to be used as daily cover for the facility.

By law, the waste at the landfill must be covered daily. The DEC allows several options for daily cover, incinerator ash is one material. The county has mined shale for the cover at a cost of about $80 thousand dollars per year. By accepting the ash for cover, the county could reduce expenses and make some money by charging for the ash disposal.

Cortland County is currently reviewing a contract that would if approved divert all trash from the landfill and send it to the incinerator in Onondaga. Under the proposal Cortland would send up to 35,000 tons of trash north to be burned at the OCRRA plant and OCRRA would pay about $1 million a year to send up to 90,000 tons of ash to the Cortland County landfill.

OCCRA recently announced it would send up to 10,000 tons of ash per year to the Madison County landfill, paying $14 a ton for disposal. The Madison landfill will use the ash as daily cover material.

Cortland County lawmakers could vote on the ash for trash swap in August and may also consider the short term contract for ash as daily cover at that time as well.

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