Trash

High winds tore open holes in protective netting on the boundaries of the 389-acre Ontario County landfill, allowing thousands of pieces of litter, mainly plastic shopping bags, to blow into nearby trees.

SENECA — A major wind storm on Jan. 5 caused havoc at the Ontario County Landfill on Routes 5& 20.

High winds tore open holes in protective netting on the boundaries of the 389-acre landfill, allowing thousands of pieces of litter, mainly plastic shopping bags, to blow into nearby trees.

Officials from Casella Waste Systems, operator of the landfill for Ontario County, hired a company to send workers up the trees to collect the litter. But they were unable to get them all, and as they continue trying to finish removing the remaining litter, they’ve encountered two problems.

Landfill Manager Rob Fadden told the Planning & Environmental Quality Committee of the Board of Supervisors about the dilemma this week.

Fadden said workers the company hired will not climb the ash trees because the emerald ash borer pest infestation has made the trees potentially unsafe and weakened. Fadden also said that there is poison ivy on the tree trunks, which has stopped climbers from getting up into the trees.

He said those issues impact about 30 percent of the trees on the east side of County Road 5.

Plan 2 was to use lift equipment to elevate the workers into the trees. But Fadden said that was stymied by the fact that the area where the trees are is either in a DEC-regulated wetland or within 100 feet of one.

Casella and DEC officials will meet today to come up with a solution. The netting has been replaced and more interior netting installed to help deal with future high winds and blowing litter.

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