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Landfill problems: $3M to remove?

SCHUYLER COUNTY—Each year the Irelandville Landfill commission spends $100,000 to treat some of the leachate stored at the landfill.

A recent study by the commission said completely removing the remaining leachate could cost up to $3 million.  Phil Smith, commission member, said the testing was done in September.

The commission has not yet met about the results; Smith said there is a meeting scheduled in January. However, at the Dec. 13 Montour Falls village board meeting, Trustee Smith gave a preliminary report saying it would cost between $2 million and $3 million to dig up the leachate stored at the landfill. Leachate is a runoff created from a landfill.

Smith explained that it already costs $100,000 annually to ship away some of the leachate, which is stored in underground tanks, for treatment. He explained even if it cost $1 million to fully dig up the leachate for treatment, it would be the same cost as 10 years of what the county and villages is currently doing. That annual cost is one shared by the municipalities involved with the commission. Smith said this has been going on for around 20 years.

However, the cost to dig up the leachate would be more than $1 million. Smith explained one problem was that during the tests the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation found a pipe that was not hooked up to the tanks like it should have been. He said it was connected then, but the ground had a higher concentration of leachate because it had not been going to the tank.

Smith added this was not the first study done. The commission has also considered a treatment wetland at the landfill. Smith said at a previous Montour Falls board meeting that the commission had considered onsite recycling/re-circulating of the leachate material. The commission will discuss the latest study at a January meeting. Smith explained the expected cost of digging the up all the leachate puts the commission back to square one.


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