Earlier this week, Casella Waste Systems got the green light to begin operation of two new cells at the Ontario County landfill in N.Y. Now the company is looking to move ahead with an expansion at a Maine landfill while also landing a contract extension in New York.
There are currently public hearings underway for a planned expansion of the Juniper Ridge Landfill near Bangor, Maine. The company and the state want the Board of Environmental Protection to approve plan that would nearly double the landfill’s capacity from its current 10 million cubic yards. It would add 10 years to the landfill’s life.
According to Maine Public:
Casella engineers provided board members with an extensive analysis that they say supports their position that the geological characteristics of the region and the technology being used would provide a safe waste containment area for decades to come. John Sevee, a regional engineer for Casella said the area’s soil composition would be able to support the added waste capacity at the landfill.
“The clay nature of the till gives it its relatively low permeability,” Seevee says. “That low permeability is a desirable characteristic because by having some thing that has a lower permeability, if there were to be a leak or a spill of leachate at the site you want a soil that retards the movement of that so you can get in there and clean it up.”
Opponents of the plan are not necessarily swayed by the science and those abutting the property want assurances that landfill leakage will never contaminate the groundwater in the region.
Meanwhile, in New York, the Clinton County legislature voted unanimously last week to extend Casella’s 25-year contract with Clinton County for another 20 years and make changes to the current agreement.
That includes increasing garbage bag fees, which will rise from $2 to $3 per bag within 30 days after the signing of the agreement and $3.50 starting the second year.
Casella Vice President and Assistant General Counsel Shelley Field said there hasn’t been a bag fee increase since 2008. The fee was increased due to a decline in recycling revenue and an increase in operating costs and employee benefits.
The minimum scale fee at the landfill in Schuyler Falls and the Mooers Transfer Station will also increase from $20 to $25 within 30 days of the agreement execution.
The fee will increase to $27.50 in 2018 and $30 in 2020.