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Area residents want hearing on landfill expansion plan

October 26, 2016 12:03 AM

COLONIE - Controversy continues to build around the Colonie Regional Landfill – the plan is to build it higher and wider. The town says the current space is near capacity and this is the next step, but neighbors say that wasn't the deal; it was supposed to close late next year or in early 2018.

Residents made their voices heard at a public hearing Tuesday night at Shaker H.S., the second such meeting in five weeks. The operator of the landfill, Waste Connections Inc., proposes the landfill open up "Area 7" that will keep building mounds on top of mounds for the next 25 years. The Town of Colonie's plan would move the route of the garbage trucks as well, off of Route 9 in Latham.

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Cunningham states, "The town has always continued and we've said from the very beginning that we will continue to operate the landfill to the end of its useful life," said Colonie Department of Public Works Commissioner Jack Cunningham. "And the end of its useful life means building out these additional cells that were always planned for the landfill."

Residents describe the landfill as a blight, with some saying the odor is so strong they’re woken up in the middle of the night by the smell. The most vocal group is Citizens Concerned about Landfill Expansion who say enough is enough.

"We expected this landfill to close next year and now we find out that they want to more than double the size of it so we are extremely upset," said Henrietta O'Grady. "We see it, we smell it. We are concerned about how it changes the character of neighborhoods."

Many are asking the DEC for an adjudicatory hearing where a judge determines if there is enough evidence to challenge this expansion altogether.

"We should take all the time needed to make the right decision," said State Sen. Kathy Marchione (R-43), who was the first speaker of the evening.

At the very least, they would like balloons raised to see just how high they will pile the garbage.

"Above what's there now it's going to go up approximately 100-feet or about a 10-story building on top of what's there," said Frank Hartley of CCALE. "It's going to come north toward the river and that's going to be about 297-feet higher."

Cunningham takes that into consideration: "Balloons, they can be effective, I don't know whether that's something that we'll end up doing. We've done what the DEC has asked us to do."

"It's a concern of fiscal health for our communities and therefore I stay in strong support," said Alison McLean Lane (D), an Albany County Legislator.

The DEC is accepting public comment through November 1st. After that the department will review the comments and decide if they would call a hearing.

You can send any questions, comments or concerns to:

Angela Marcuccio, Region 4 Office – Division of Environmental Permits

NYS DEC

1130 North Wescott Road

Schenectady, NY 12306

And for more information, you can visit either www.townofcolonielandfill.com or www.ccalecolonielandfill.com.

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WNYT Staff

Copyright 2016 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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