Ontario County Landfill

The Ontario County Landfill in the town of Seneca, which is operated by Casella Waste Systems, suffered a breach in its fence three years ago.

CANANDAIGUA — The Ontario County Board of Supervisors’ Planning & Environmental Quality Committee is recommending that the county hire an engineering firm to review landfill reports.

The motion, approved unanimously at Monday’s committee meeting, will go to the full board for a final vote Jan. 27.

The committee recommended hiring Dallas-based Trinity Consultants for up to $15,000 this year, with an option for a six-month extension through the first half of 2023. The firm, founded in 1974, has offices in New York City and Albany.

The contract had been recommended by the county Department of Sustainability and Solid Waste Management staff.

Trinity will review landfill reports and provide monitoring services, plus provide on-demand services should the need arise for review and input from an outside engineer.

The county entered into an Operations, Management and Lease agreement with Casella Waste Systems in 2003 for Casella to manage the 398-acre landfill in the town of Seneca. Casella employs its own engineers and outside consultants to address the numerous complex, technical and regulatory compliance issues related to the landfill construction and operation.

The county also is required to review reports related to the landfill operations and monitoring periodically.

The landfill is permitted to accept up to 917,694 tons of solid waste a year, and its most recent expansion will allow it to remain open until 2028. The site also has a recycling center and a separate facility, which is , owned and operated by a separate company, that converts a landfill byproduct, methane, into energy.

Landfill engineer Mark Johnson said Casella is working to get gas-collection wells up to 100% capacity, a process he said will take 4-6 weeks. Until then, he said if the power plant can’t use the gas, it will be burned off in flares.

Landfill manager Brian Sanders told the committee that Casella is installing 28 new gas wells to help with the situation.

Sanders also said Casella received notice from the state Department of Environmental Conservation that it violated its permit in late December due to a gas-pipe gasket that failed because of a faulty flange. He said the company will weld pipes in the future and stop using flanges.

Carla Jordan, director of Sustainability and Solid Waste Management for the county, said the violation did not result in any off-site impacts.

Jordan also gave these updates:

STYROFOAM — The state’s ban on the use of Styrofoam food containers began Jan. 1. A complaint line has been set up to report violations. Jordan said any food service establishment with a stockpile of Styrofoam containers can seek a hardship waiver and use them up, rather than throw them away.

HIRE — Jordan said she hopes to announce the hiring of a new staffer next week. That person would be tasked with working on implementing the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan, which Jordan said will be updated this year.

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