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Casella plans to send Ontario County Landfill leachate by rail to Ohio

For years, the city of Canandaigua wastewater treatment plant has handled leachate generated at the Ontario County Landfill, which is eight miles away.

That may change.

Casella Vice President & Assistant General Council Shelley Sayward told the Ontario County Board of Supervisors Planning and Environmental Quality Committee Monday that she is working on a contract to have most of the liquid leachate taken by rail to an unidentified treatment facility in Ohio.

Leachate is the liquid that collects at the bottom of a mound of trash after rain and snow travel down through the trash, mixing with contaminants along the way.

That news was included in a status report on landfill operations.

Sayward also told the committee that the landfill will reduce the amount of wastewater treatment plant sludge to only 8 percent of its total biosolid intake for the next 10 weeks to assess the impact of that reduction on the landfill’s ongoing odor issue.

Many, including the state Department of Environmental Conservation, have pointed to a significant increase in sludge accepted under contract by the landfill as a major reason for an increase in the number of complaints about the odor on and around the landfill.

Mark Clinker, landfill general manager, told the committee that a new cell area to dispose of trash will be completed in the next few weeks, allowing drainage improvements on the site.

“We also lost our litter fence a few weeks ago during a wind storm. We have a temporary fence up now who while awaiting the permanent fence,” Clinker said. “If we get another big wind event, we’ll close the landfill down during that time.”

Clinker also said six new methane gas wells have been installed and are in operation, with six more moved up from May to this coming week.

The committee also was told that a new link has been set up for personal computers and smartphones allowing people to register odor complaints that will be responded to by a new company hired by Casella, Towpath Investigative Services. That link also will be available on the Casella and Ontario County websites.

In response to a question from committee member Mark Venuti, D-Geneva, on recent permit violations cited by the DEC, Casella officials said they are working with the county, consultants and the DEC to correct them as quickly as possible.

“There is a new team on site that is responding to Carla Jordan, our new director of sustainability and solid waste management. Those problems won’t be corrected overnight, but they are all working together to correct them,” said Kristine Singer, R-Canadice, committee chairwoman.

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