The draft Host Community Agreement (HCA) for High Acres Landfill is complete and the Town is currently negotiating the agreement with Waste Management. The 3-week public comment period closed May 3, 2021.
The new HCA not only describes the benefits provided to the Town and its residents for hosting a portion of the High Acres Landfill in the Town of Perinton, but it also outlines an 8-Point Plan to mitigate and control landfill odors. While feedback is collected from residents on the new HCA, the Town of Perinton will begin negotiating with Waste Management to secure these benefits and protections for years to come.
A comprehensive 8-point plan designed to complement the Town’s existing efforts to ensure the proper operational management of High Acres Landfill is included in the new, draft HCA. The Town has worked to establish several of these practices since the significant odor event of 2017. However, the Town’s plan will also take new action by calling for new restrictions on rail waste arriving from New York City and additional limitations on the amount of highly odorous material landfilled at High Acres. The 8-point plan includes the following measures:
1. Improvements to the general operation and maintenance of the landfill. This willensure that Waste Managementcontinues to invest in best operating and maintenance practices, including those identified in Waste Management’s September 2018 commitment letter to the Town of Perinton.
2. Enhanced Monitoring and Reporting. Making Waste Management responsible to perform the most stringent landfill surface scanning assessment for fugitive gas emissions in all of New York State.
3. Continued and improved information sharing. The Town will ensure Waste Management’s participation in routine Tech Team meetings to discuss operational activities, ongoing mitigation, employment of best management practices, and causes of odor concerns. Waste Management will also provide the Town with updates on all regulatory communication with Federal/State Agencies.
4. Creation of a new Odor Verification Program utilizing ASTM Standards to evaluate the intensity of odors.
5. Upgraded Odor Notification Program. Waste Management will continue to be responsible for maintaining, operating, and funding a local odor notification hot-line accessible 24/7. Trained personnel will respond within 30-minutes to measure odor type, duration, and intensity utilizing a scientific ASTM n-butanol scale.
6. Odor Event Accountability. Waste Management will provide written justification to the Town of Perinton for the cause of undue odors, identify mitigative steps that will be taken and associated timeframes to address off-site impacts.
7. New restrictions on rail operations. The Town is concerned over the volume of municipal solid waste coming from the 5-boroughs of New York City to High Acres Landfill. Therefore, the Town will work with Waste Management to reduce the volume of municipal solid waste delivered to High Acres Landfill by rail from New York City to pre-2017 levels. The Town is making this request to ensure that Waste Management can reasonably manage incoming waste delivered by rail to High Acres Landfill and responsibly control associated odors.
8. Additional restrictions on waste in accordance with the Waste Characterization Study. In 2018, the Town of Perinton and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation commissioned a Waste Characterization Study, completed by a third-party consultant, which evaluated all types of waste and all types of transport methods, including rail waste coming from New York City.
According to that study, bio-solids were identified as a highly odorous waste stream. Therefore, the Town seized an opportunity to partner with Monroe County and Waste Management to help mitigate odor issues by reducing the total amount of bio-solids coming into High Acres Landfill from Monroe County’s VanLare Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Additional restrictions will also be placed on the age of waste brought to High Acres Landfill. The Town will work with Waste Management to restrict when municipal solid waste is considered aged through agreed-upon time limits. This new restriction would also apply to rail waste coming from New York City.
Also included in the new HCA are several opportunities to increase the community value of High Acres Landfill. These include continuing the popular Residential Drop-Off Program, creating a new Citizens Advisory Group, establishing a Property Value Protection Program, and increasing royalties to benefit taxpayers.
Another priority of the new HCA is a renewed focus on environmental sustainability. The Town is looking to partner with Waste Management for a residential organics composting pilot program, which could help divert waste from the landfill. The new HCA also includes Waste Management’s continued commitment to recycling residential leaf and yard debris into free wood mulch and compost provided to residents. Other goals include continuing free curbside recycling for all Town and Village residents, as well as the Waste to Energy Program.
Negotiations with Waste Management have started. For the first time in the development of a new HCA in Perinton, the Town invited residents to review the agreement and provide written feedback. That 3-week public comment period closed on May 3, 2021.
Since the draft HCA is subject to negotiation, certain information has been redacted from the draft to the extent necessary to protect the negotiation process.
Established in 1971, High Acres Landfill is a privately-owned landfill, a division of Waste Management of New York, LLC. It is located on the eastern edge of Monroe County in the Town of Perinton and crosses over the western border of Wayne County in the Town of Macedon. The 1,200-acre property includes a renewable energy plant, nature/trail area, fire department training facility, police range, a compost recycling area, a residential drop-off station, and approximately 360-acres of permitted landfill area.