Spring annual clean up around the corner

JOHNSTOWN — Spring is coming and so are Fulton County’s Clean Up programs to a municipality near you.

County Department of Solid Waste Director David Rhodes on Monday informed the Board of Supervisors’ Public Works Committee of the spring program. The spring and fall county program is in its 26th year.

The county offers the program, charging a $50 per ton landfill tipping fee, with several municipalities participating.

Rhodes said Spring Clean Up programs in 2020 are scheduled as follows: Town of Perth — April 20-25; town of Bleecker — May 1 to 3; city of Johnstown — May 7 to 9; and the town and village of Mayfield — May 14 to 16.

Fulton County’s 2019 Clean Up programs took in 255 tons of garbage in 88 loads, a 29-ton increase from the 2018 total of 226 tons.

Also taken in were 52 tons of metal, 12 tons of electronics and 750 tire units for a total cost of $15,627 to the municipalities involved.

Elsewhere is his operations report, Rhodes said the following annual reports were submitted to the state Department of Environmental Conservation: Landfill, recyclables handling and recovery facility, transfer stations, electronics collection, stormwater, and household hazardous waste.

Rhodes reported three Department of Solid Waste staff will attend landfill operator training March 10 and 11 in Saratoga Springs. Topics will include state regulations and landfill design, waste screening, leachate management, landfill gas monitoring, water quality and stormwater management, and safety. Certification is good for five years. The course is offered by the New York State Association for Solid Waste Management and endorsed by DEC.

In regular business, the committee voted to amend the 2020 capital plan to replace the Department of Solid Waste’s decontamination trailer and utilize funds for a trailer to be customized in-house. The full board will vote March 9.

The county’s 2020 capital plan includes purchase of a decontamination trailer at an estimated cost of $45,000. But Rhodes said that since DEC requires three-foot air locks — a higher standard than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — there are no manufacturers who design to that specification.

“We started doing more in depth research into the spec,” Rhodes said.

In order to meet state Department of Labor standards, Rhodes recommended an alternative project. He suggested purchase of a standard 20-foot trailer, along with all necessary supplies and equipment and customizing it using in house staff.

Rhodes estimated the trailer’s total cost to be between $7,000 and $9,000; and purchase of supplies and equipment at about $3,000.

Committee authorization was granted for an overnight stay for Rhodes, the deputy director of administration and the recycling coordinator to attend an upcoming Federation of Solid Waste Associations’ conference in Warren County. Topics will include recycling markets, organics, waste reduction, and methane gas recovery. The total cost to the county was listed as $2,262.

By Patricia Older

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