CANANDAIGUA — Ontario County residents and businesses, be warned.
County government has a goal of diverting 60 percent of solid waste now going to the Ontario County Landfill or others like it over the next 10 years, as stated in the state-approved Solid Waste Management Plan.
Individuals and businesses will be asked to do their part to meet that target.
County Planning Department member Carla Jordan updated the Board of Supervisors’ Planning and Environmental Quality Committee on the implementation of the SWMP at Tuesday’s meeting.
Casella Waste Systems, which manages the landfill for the county, also picks up waste from county facilities. Jordan said Casella officials conducted an inventory of what they collected from county facilities and reported that 35 percent was material that could be recycled.
“We also have county employees in each department who are Eco Heroes,” Jordan said. “They are people who are recycling enthusiasts who set up recycling efforts and encourage people to recycle as much as they can, both at work and at home.”
Curently, the county now diverts about 40 percent of its waste for recycling or composting, Jordan said.
“The Eco Heroes want to aim for 75 percent diversion in 2017,” Jordan said. “They feel that is attainable.”
Jordan reported about 15 percent of the county-generated waste is paper that could be recycled but isn’t.
Committee member Charlie Evangelista, D-city of Geneva, asked if the county’s diversion program could be written out and shared with schools, institutions and others.
“We are working on writing that up now to include in our first implementation report to the state DEC,” Jordan replied.
Tim Jensen, who also works in the county Planning Department, updated the panel on a pilot composting program at the county jail in Hopewell. He said arrangements were made with Natural Upcycling of Linwood, Livingston County to set up a system of collecting jail food waste in special bins and hauling it to the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency in Syracuse.
The program started Sunday.
Jensen said Natural Upcycling is paid $200 a month for weekly collections.
“We’re trying to see what else we can do with compostable materials with Natural Upcycling,” Jensen said.
Committee member Drew Wickham, R-Seneca, suggested an effort be made to reach out to restaurants or other institutions to have Natural Upcycling pick up their food waste and take it to Syracuse.
Natural Upcycling takes food waste from the Wegmans store in Canandaigua as well as the county jail waste. Jensen said he would look into that with the company.
In other committee matters Tuesday:
LANDFILL — Landfill manager Matt East said Casella has not yet heard from the state Department of Environmental Conservation on a variance permitting the welding of landfill geomembrane sheets when the temperature drops below 32 degrees.
Committee member Mark Venuti, D-town of Geneva, said there is a lingering landfill odor on the west end of his town. East acknowledged the odor was bad several weeks ago, but has improved as more methane collection has been put in place.
“I know because I live across from the landfill,” East said.
SURVEY — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County will survey county employees in February and county residents in March on recycling and composting attitudes.
SUSTAINABILITY — A sustainability fair is scheduled for April 20 as an Earth Day event. Targeted at county homeowners, it will feature local vendors offering ways to divert waste from the landfill. It will be held at the county complex in Hopewell. A used clothing program will be part of the fair.
E-WASTE — An electronics waste collection event set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Geneva school district bus garage off Gambee Road has enticed 412 people to make reservations.
There are another 188 spots available. Call (585) 394-3977, ext. 427, to register.