Oct. 6, 2008
Revisions to Solid Waste Law Will Stabilize Fees and Help with Recycling Efforts
Proposed changes to Oswego County's Recycling and Solid Waste Law will ease the burden on the property owners and help increase the amount of materials that are recycled in Oswego County, Legislator Fred Beardsley, District 9, Central Square, chairman of the Legislature's Infrastructure and Facilities Committee, said today.
Legislator Beardsley said the revised law, if approved by the Legislature, will bring both cost-savings and environmental benefits to Oswego County residents.
The proposal will be considered by the County Legislature at its Oct. 9 meeting. It implements a "flow control" requirement that directs all solid waste generated within Oswego County to be disposed of at county facilities. It also re-affirms the requirement that recyclable materials be separated from the waste stream and that residential recyclables be taken to a county solid waste facility.
"Oswego County has invested $60 million over the past 25 years in an environmentally responsible solid waste system that meets the needs of our residents and businesses," said Legislator Beardsley. "Flow control will protect the taxpayer's investment, and make sure that the solid waste system is paid for by solid waste fees, not the property taxpayers.
Legislator Beardsley said one of the recommendations of an in-depth 2006 study of the county's solid waste system was that it becomes self-supporting.
"In order to accomplish this, the waste generated in Oswego County should stay in the system, so that tipping fees contribute to the system's operating costs," he said. "All users, including solid waste haulers, should pay based on the amount they dispose of. For many years, the system has relied on property taxpayers, regardless of how much they use the system. We need to ease the burden on the property taxpayer. With flow control, solid waste haulers will pay the same rate and play by the same rules."
The county has committed to holding solid waste disposal fees at the current levels in 2009. Flow control has proven to be effective in stabilizing rates in other areas.
"When all the waste generated in Oswego County is brought to county solid waste facilities, it will stabilize rates in the long-term," said Frank Visser, Director of Solid Waste for Oswego County. "Many nearby counties, including Onondaga, Oneida, Madison and Herkimer, have actually lowered their disposal rates after adopting flow control legislation."
The revised law also addresses a decline in the amount of materials being recycled in Oswego County.
Visser noted that the amount of recyclable materials collected by Oswego County has declined dramatically in the past six years. The revised law will require all solid waste haulers to bring recyclable materials, collected from residents, to county solid waste facilities.
"Recycling has always been an important component of our county's solid waste program. This will encourage greater participation among residents and haulers, and will benefit our environment for years to come," said Legislator Beardsley.
In addition to Legislator Beardsley, the Legislature's Infrastructure and Facilities Committee includes vice chairman Clayton Brewer, District 24, Fulton; Barbara Brown, District 8, Palermo; Milferd Potter, District 2, Orwell; Phillip Vasho, District 22, Fulton; Linda Lockwood, District 11, Volney; and Shawn Doyle, District 3, Pulaski.
The Legislature will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in the Legislative Chambers of the County Office Building, 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego. Copies of the proposed law are available in the Clerk of the Legislature's Office, 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego, and online at http://oswegocounty.com/legislature/meetings/agenda.html
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