SOLID WASTE TASK FORCE
Monday, April 10, 2023 - 11:00 AM
Joe Pete Wilson, Chairperson
Supervisor Winemiller called this Solid Waste Task Force meeting to order at 11:08 AM with the following in attendance: Clayton Barber, Stephanie DeZalia, Derek Doty, Shaun Gillilland, Jim Monty, Tom Scozzafava, Meg Wood, Davina Winemiller, and Jim Dougan. Ike Tyler and Joe Pete Wilson were excused.
Also Present: Dina Garvey.
WINEMILLER: Iím going to call the Solid Waste Task Force meeting to order, please.
Jim, go ahead.
DOUGAN: So, just a real quick update. I handed out a few pictures from the glass pulverizer that we started up last Thursday. Ran a couple of tons of glass out of it, so first page is just a quick look, looking at the whole unit and then second weíre filling the hopper and you see some glass going up the conveyor.† Next you see, thereís three products that come out of this. The 3/8th inch course material and then after that is a glass sand and then the garbage. It seems to do a pretty good job of separating even the garbage out of things. Out in the hall here, right across from the elevator, I have two buckets of one of the course product and one of the fine sand. So, by all means take a look† at it. It does about a ton an hour. So, itís going to take a little while, but is a pretty neat product. DEC was there with us on Thursday when we started it. They confirmed that if we want to use that glass sand and mix it in with our road sand, you know we can do that. They accept and they thought that the use of that 3/8th inch minus will be good for drainage, if you wanted to use it to make French drains around pipe or if want to mix it with gravel. All of those are all things that they already, categorically permit for us to do. So, itís kind of a neat process and weíll try and get caught up on that glass here in the near future.
Then the document that I handed out and I probably didnít make enough copies, just goes along with our annual report that send into DEC. That map kind of tells you the direction that solid waste travels as it goes from the different transfer stations and then off to the right hand side is a list of the overall quantities that we handled in 2022. If I have any of your hours wrong on your transfer stations, let me know, but we try and track when things are open, as well. So, thatís all that is.
WINEMILLER: Jim, can you please explain the blue arrows a little bit?
DOUGAN: Yup, the large blue arrows are showing that from that particular location that go directly to Franklin County for disposal. The smaller arrows, so those, the areas where they have those arrows, we actually have scales there. So, solid waste and C&D is actually weighted are that location before it goes to Franklin County and then the smaller arrows you see are when things are moving from one transfer station to another transfer station before theyíre eventually disposed.
BARBER: So, Chesterfield, itís actually a Tuesday, Friday, Saturday.
BARBER: Itís 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
DOUGAN: Okay, make some adjustments there.
BARBER: My second question, Jim, what about the clear plastics? How come some towns are recycling that and some are not?
DOUGAN: To be honestly with you, some towns are doing it, but when it shows up to us it still ends in the garbage. Thatís what happens.
BARBER: One of my concners is since Iíve been in office weíve been watching closely on our reports and being in the red and the black and actually for the first quarter of 2022 Iím in the black red for the first time and I mean we have thought about increasing prices, but Iím paying for the clear plastic.
DOUGAN: Well, in all honestly, actually the Countyís paying for that clear plastic. I hate to say it, but thatís the fact. When it shows up that way, most of it, it gets dumped into the same hopper, Serkil looks at it, it doesnít fit into the number two plastics that are really the only thing that are being recycled these days and all of it goes in to the dumpster across the road from the municipal recycling facility.
BARBER: Right, but my point is, I am paying the county.
DOUGAN: Youíre not paying on the recyclables. You are paying part of the county levy, but you arenít seeing a direct charge for that. The County puts a million dollars a year into solid waste, even though itís an enterprise fund. The County, itself, on top of what is actually billed back to the towns, thereís a million dollars that the County puts into that funds every year.
BARBER: Again, that plastic is going into the compactor. My clear plastic.
DOUGAN: Not at your location, at my location.
BARBER: Absolutely, I am.
DOUGAN: So, are you charging someone for it, as solid waste? Then youíre actually making revenue off of it.
DOUGAN: Right, if youíre charging them to throw it away in the compactor, then youíre making revenue off of it.
BARBER: But, my point. Iím paying for that, okay, I get your point, alright.
MONTY: Iíve actually seen recyclables that come in there, because I spend a lot of time down there, more than I need to, where theyíll come from a community and dump them into that hopper, where itís supposed to be #2 only and half of that is #1. Thatís coming from independent transfer stations. So, that now has contaminated the #2, so Serkilís not, which they were collecting for free, now they canít because they contaminated what they were going to bale up and stuff, so that gets taken out and gets put in the compactor and gets billed to the County.
DOUGAN: Yeah, thereís a, so you know, all the recyclables that we get from the individual transfer stations are relatively dirty. Our source separation is not very good. You know, I can speak for Davina to know that sheís come in on Saturdays in St. Armand and basically taken recyclables from people in order for her to recycle it to try and do a better job, but itís generally dirty, what we get from all the town transfer stations and that maybe staffing. I donít know the reasons, maybe some people donít necessarily care. Either way, what happens is those plastics get dumped into one bin at the municipal recycling facility and maybe we should all, everybody on this committee to should take a drive through that at some point, then they get pulled out of that bin with a skid-steer. Skid-steer pushes them into the baler unit, which is recessed down in the floor, itís a large conveyor belt, pushes in, that conveyor belt goes up, thereís an attendant that sits on the top and like an assembly line, theyíre picking out all the things that arenít that #2 plastic, it gets thrown behind them in a dumpster and then it gets wheeled out and goes as regular garbage and that happens with every process. It happens with the tin, as well, you know, quite often thereís plastic, thereís glass, thereís other things mixed with the tin, sometimes itís bags of garbage. Asking everybody to do a better job with their attendants at the transfer stations is a tough thing. You guys have trouble hiring just as much as anybody.
WOOD: Youíre not recycling #1 plastic at all?
WOOD: Then why are we separating in Schroon Lake, between #1 and #2?
DOUGAN: There was a time when there was a market for it. You can see that even at the beginning of this year there was a small market for it and there were 13.7 tons that they actually were able to recycle of the #1 plastic, you see that on here. Thereís basically no market.
WOOD: So, we have a whole bin that we donít need?
DOUGAN: Right now, with no market for it, probably. Ideally, we would like to.
WOOD: When youíre pulling the bin, youíre just taking it as garbage?
DOUGAN: Basically, that is what Serkil is doing with it. If they donít have a market for it, that tends to be what happens to it, yes, similar to the glass.
HUGHES: I might aurge that you want to still continue to separate them, because weíre trained to do so. So, when there is a market, youíre not retraining and going back and forth.
WOOD: I get that.
DOUGAN: And the goal and the goal of a later thing that weíre going to discuss here, the goal is that we actually find more ways to recycle more things, right? Thatís part of what our solid waste study that we got a small grant to do, thatís what it was about was to try and ways to do more recycling and find more markets for it. There hasnít been a glass for years and now we think, a market for glass for years and we think we now have one.
SCOZZAFAVA: Yes, we have two part-timers. Crown Point closed and we just, you can see what our tonnage is.
SCOZZAFAVA: Second to North Elba. I want to talk a minute about the electronics. I spent Thursday, most of the day going back through emails and I obviously missed an email that was sent back to me in January, actually earlier than January is regards to charges for electronics. I found out that they sent it to my old email address, so we no longer charge for any electronics. We were charging, because we were paying E-waste to get rid of them. So, thatís all changed now, because it goes back on the manufacturer has to pay that cost. So, I donít know if everybodyís aware of that and we had a run on televisions on Friday and Saturday, believe me. So, there must have been a lot of people that were just hording them and then decided to bring them in. But, we still have to store them, we still have to have a trailer available to put them in and they come and they pick them up. The way I understand, from what I read and was told that you cannot any longer charge for electronics.
HUGHES: There was, I remember receiving the emails. There were some caveats around that. E-waste is stull charging me, so I am still charging people.
MONTY: They should be taking them..
SCOZZAFAVA: My last two invoices from E-waste and believe me we have a trailer, a 40-foot trailer back there, 0 invoice.
HUGHES: So, how picks up? Is E-waste still picking† up?
SCOZZAFAVA: Yes, I immediately contacted. Thatís what brought my attention to it, when my accountant, said, hey, e-waste thereís no, zero balance. Theyíre not charging us.
MONTY: That came from DEC.
HUGHES: The thing was maybe I misunderstood, because you are a recyclerÖ
WOOD: A collection site.
HUGHES: Thank you, Meg, and there was some other language and I didnít think that I was one or the other.
SCOZZAFAVA: We have zero balance with E-waste and theyíve been there a couple† of times to pick up.
MONTY: Theyíll send you an invoice telling you how much they picked up and the cost is zero.
HUGHES: Until I get that, then I wonít charge my people.
SCOZZAFAVA: We called E-waste and then I sent an email, because I wanted something back in writing.
HUGHES: Iíll just confirm that with them.
WOOD: Are you registered as a collection site with the DEC? Because we were not and I started that.
MONTY: Thatís a good point.
WOOD: When youíre registered with the DEC then youíre part of the whole.
HUGHES: I donít know if I am registered with the DEC.
DOUGAN: I havenít been involved in the other towns, any of the towns as far as electronics, but Iím registered with DEC for electronics recycling for the County.
WOOD: Itís online.
SCOZZAFAVA: Itís right on their website. Moriah is, you are, Jim. And then the other thing I heard, you mentioned running in the red and I can tell you that through this whole operation thatís like, youíre going to be in the black, youíre going to be in the red, youíre going to be and we raised the rate. We went from $2.5 a bag to $3.00 a few years ago and literally shot ourselves right in the foot, because then the volume dropped and everybody was going to private haulers. So, a lot of that has to do with your private haulers and we got a new private hauler, doing a great job out of Ticonderoga and you know, weíre seeing the revenues start to drop a little bit.
BARBER: Is anybody taking refrigerators?
SCOZZAFAVA: We do. We have some guy that comes in and drains the freon out of them and we bring them to George Moore.
MONTY: He provides the seal? Is it a locate guy?
BARBER: With us, if you deliver them to him, heíll take them, drain the freon, Iím assuming he drains the freon. He takes all microwaves, refrigerators.
MONTY: Microwaves, E-Waste takes those.
Can you just explain to everyone, because it looks like Etown/Lewis generates 4,000 tons.
DOUGAN: Yeah, these are the numbers directly off of what gets sent to DEC.
MONTY: Right, we share that site, a lot of this is from county, right?
DOUGAN: Nope, no, actually no, most of that, other than the C&D. The C&D, Tom accepts C&D in Moriah. So, all C&D gets weighted and gets figured out of that location, but actually like Essex/Willsboro, that station there actually comes to the Lewis station, but their numbers are listed down below here, at not figured into the 4,021 tons of solid waste, thatís all private haulers.
DOUGAN: Everything above you is private haulers, no towns.
MONTY: Thatís private haulers.
SCOZZAFAVA: And one other thing on these numbers, and weíve know this for quite a while, but whatís interesting, Moriah and Ticonderoga are pretty much the same number, same population, same number of residents and so on and weíre doing twice the tonnage as Ticonderoga and the reason I point that out, is because we are doing Ĺ of Westport, except Ike disagrees with that and weíre doing Crown Point, most of Crown Point.
MONTY: But, do think it could be because Ti is using Washington County and maybe doing a better job recycling? †
†SCOZZAFAVA: Ticonderoga? I mean Iím looking at their garbage tonnage.
MONTY: I see what youíre saying, but I am saying there are other factors because the Washington County landfill isnít that far from the line.
SCOZZAFAVA: I think a lot of it in Ti, driving through Ti is private haulers, also.
MONTY: Could be, yup.
SCOZZAFAVA: So, I† donít know whatís† going to happen.
DOUGAN: All of the things that you guys are discussing is all, you know, if we can hire a couple of summer interns, you know we went out to bid for this solid waste study. Weíve got $40,000.00 to go towards a solid waste study, $20,000.00 which is grant and $20,000.00 that we have for a match. We out to bid for a consultant to help us with that, a year ago and the lowest number we got was over $80,000.00 and they second bidder was $140,000.00 and they were both just canned studies. So, weíre hoping to hire a couple of summer interns. We reached out to programs like ESF in Syracuse and there sustainable materials management program hoping thereís some students from, kids from this area who thatís what theyíre going into. But, a lot of these questions, if we can get a couple of staff members, weíre going to come right back to you and spend some time at each of your transfer stations and try to ask some of these questions to do a solid waste study. The goal is to get this study done under the grant and then apply under a MRF or a local government efficiency grant for a much bigger project that would help us with infrastructure to do more recycling, to handle all of this more efficiently. So, thatís out goal.
WINEMILLER: I just want to add, I am of the opinion that nothing is going to change with the recycling issues that are happening in our county, until we get some assistance on the federal level and what I mean by that is, you know manufactures, Iím just going to say Tide pods, they make these plastic containers, theyíre really nice, you know, but until Tide is required to take those back and reuse those, weíre just going to keep floundering, I think and itís going to be a big problem. I think most of you have heard from the DEC that PFOAs in the water, so thatís minuscule, microscopic pieces of plastic that are ending up in our water supplies. Itís happening right now, itís another thing that weíre going to be required to reduce, but theyíre literally coming through the ground and through and the air. So, until we really, as a country, take some steps and make some laws with some teeth in them that require manufactures to reuse and reduce our plastic waste, you know I feel like we can do everything that we can on the county side, but until we get the entire country involved with it, weíre all going to struggle.
DOUGAN: Itís a bigger problem than just us, I definitely agree with that and weíre in the Adirondack Park and we canít even have our own landfill to even deal with any of it, so itís even cost effective for us.
The only other update that I wanted to give you was regarding the new clause we put in the contract with Serkil. That clause that said they were going to give us $25† a ton for every outside hauler that brought Solid Waste or C&D to them. So, in January and February of this year we picked up through that just under $20,000.00 in that $25 per ton coming back, so Iím† glad we instituted that clause in that renewal and weíll continue to track it.† †
WINEMILLER: Thanks Jim, does anyone have any other questions, comments or concerns? We are adjourned.
AS THERE WAS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THIS SOLID WASTE TASK FORCE IT WAS ADJOURNED AT 11:30 PM.
Dina L. Garvey, Deputy Clerk
Board of Supervisors