County may get sludge surcharge

JOHNSTOWN – The Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility may soon pay the Fulton County landfill a $500-per-day surcharge because its quantities of sludge deposited at the dump have grown.

County Department of Solid Waste Director Jeff Bouchard on Tuesday requested the Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development and Environment Committee authorize an amendment to the county’s 1998 contract with the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board. The panel approved the action, which comes to the full board May 13.

“We’ve been talking back and forth about the increased quantities [of sludge] at the landfill,” Bouchard said.

He said the sewage treatment plant has been bringing in greater quantities due to additional activity at the plant. He said his department has had to devote additional time and effort to manage the material, with an additional bulking agent, which takes up more landfill space. He said the county has had to add virgin soils at the landfill and “stability” issues have emerged with the landfilling process.

Bouchard said the sewer plant agreed to add a surcharge to its regular fees to cover extra bulking needed to properly manage increased sludge.

“We’ve come up with a method,” Bouchard said.

He said the sewer board has agreed to a surcharge of $500 per day when sludge deliveries exceed 100 tons per day, retroactive to April 1.

“We’ll be working through that the next couple months,” Bouchard stated. “They say they’re going to hit us pretty heavily.”

At the sewer board’s April meeting, sewer plant consultant George Bevington explained difficulties have been encountered with sludge bulking using the coal ash product contracted from Casella Organics of Clifton Park. He said the ash product becomes hardened when mixed, making it difficult to remove from trucks along with solidifying in the conveyor system. Bevington said substituting sand for the ash product provides a short-term solution.

Michael Anich can be reached at [email protected].

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