$1.6M solid waste capital plan approved for Fulton County

The county Environmental Resources Committee approved a three-year, $1,637,000 capital spending plan

The county Environmental Resources Committee approved a three-year, $1,637,000 capital spending plan for the Department of Solid Waste on Thursday night, just two weeks after the department marked its 22nd anniversary.

“We think we’ve done a good job and are going in the right direction,” said Cindy Livingston, the department’s deputy director. “We’re providing our residents with a comprehensive solid waste plan, so we’re right up there with the rest of them.”

Next year, the department is in line to spend $634,000, with its largest purchases to be a bulldozer and construction of its Star Building, a currently unassembled manufacturing building to go up on its Johnstown property.

For 2013, the county approved the purchase of a $500,000 landfill compactor, as well as a scale, tractor truck and skid steer, totaling $775,000 for the year.

“Landfill compactors have a certain shelf life,” Livingston said. “So when it’s time for them to be traded in because maintenance gets too high, we have a cycle that we go through.”

The county approved a lower $228,000 expenditure for 2014, but each year’s capital program proposal features new or fewer items for purchase that might roll over from the previous year, Livingston said.

Throughout its 22 years, the county landfill’s refuse has totaled 1,888,019 tons. Out-of-county waste brought the department $12.4 million in revenue.

Recyclables accounted for $5,981,193 in revenue, with a boost from the allowance of tires and 20,257 tons of bulk metal. Deposit bottles accounted for $514,188 of this revenue stream.

The department rid the county of additional refuse through two new programs: its spring and fall clean-up programs, which kicked off in 1995, yielded 8,541 tons of refuse, and its annual household hazardous waste programs yielded 284 tons of waste in the last 11 years.

The county’s gas-to-electric plant, which has operated since June 2010, brought in an average of $20,000 a month this year, with an expected $400,000 in annual revenue, Livingston said.

“The amount of electricity generated from the plant probably won’t escalate all that much,” Livingston said, so the cost should remain about the same.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation recently approved department contracts for a recycling equipment grant totaling $385,651.69 for Fulton County. Once the department signs, it can be reimbursed for equipment including balers, recycling containers and curbside trucks it purchased since 2008.

“We feel we’re looked at very highly within the state,” Livingston said. “The state has indicated to us that we’re doing a really good job with what we do for our county.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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