County in the red with recyclables

Fulton County Solid Waste Director David Rhodes discusses the single stream recyclables’ revenue situation with the Board of Supervisors Public Works Committee Monday at the County Office Building in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County made money selling recyclables for many years, but the reverse situation is such now that the county may be $15,000 over budget by the end of the year.

County Department of Solid Waste Director David Rhodes on Monday gave a half-year single stream recycling update to the Board of Supervisors’ Public Works Committee at the County Office Building.

“We’ve doubled our expenses in single stream since last year,” he told county officials.

Rhodes said the Department of Solid Waste compiled statistics from January through June 2019 for single stream materials, as compared to the first half of 2018. That analysis showed quantities were up slightly from 1,137 tons for the first half of 2018 contrasted with 1,200 tons taken in for the first half of 2019. But the county made $4,183 during the 2018 period compared to costing the county $22,682 for the 2019 period.

The director is tracking recycling tons and cost, as recycling markets have gone into negative numbers since March 2018.

“Costs at the half year mark are almost double the same level as the whole of 2018, which were at $11,707 in December 2018,” he said.

Rhodes said that while funds were increased for the 2019 budget, it is anticipated that due to the state of recycling markets, Fulton County will be about $15,000 over budget by December and a transfer will be necessary in the next two months.

The director said he will continue to monitor the situation, reflected during an upcoming August budget presentation.

Elsewhere in Rhodes’ business with the committee:

∫ The committee authorized a proposed contract with Environmental Attribute Advisors to facilitate the sale of carbon credits. The full board will consider final authorization Aug. 12.

The Department of Solid Waste has been documenting Fulton County landfill gas production since 2007 and the sale of carbon credits since 2011 through the Chicago Climate Exchange. The county originally contracted with Environmental Capital of New York City in 2007 for credits, extending contracts three times until the last one expired in 2017.

Environmental Attribute Advisors is proposing a contract retroactive to 2017 and running through 2020 that may net Fulton County $40,000 in revenue after expenses.

∫ Rhodes reported the Fulton County Demolition Team did $4,7000 worth of projects in July, at 19 Wilson St. and 14 Division St., both in Gloversville.

∫ Paving repairs and installation of recycling hoppers were completed inhouse at the Ephratah, Oppenheim and Stratford transfer stations. The city of Johnstown Department of Public Works assisted with milling pavement and Oppenheim and Ephratah lent dump trucks for paving work.

∫ Rhodes said 90 residents so far have registered for the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day program Aug. 10 at the landfill.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Josh Bovee

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