Landfill not expanding
Landfill

File photo

Landfill not expanding

Story By: NICOLE FUENTES
7/3/2019


Despite resolutions to accommodate increased costs, the landfill will close after cell 6 

Two resolutions were voted on and passed during the Town of Brookhaven’s board meeting held last week, allowing for an amendment to increase the amount authorized for improvements at the landfill, including odor management and the completion of cell 6, due to increased costs.

The resolution amended a resolution adopted in November of last year, which authorized bonds for gas management, odor and leachate control. Last week’s vote allowed the board to increase from $28,100,000 to $28,800,000, an increase of $700,000, to pay for additional and unexpected costs of the construction of cell 6, the final cell prior to landfill closure, which has been in the works in several phases since 2002.

“This is part of the original cell 6 permit, which was divided into 13 phases,” said chief of operations Matt Miner, explaining that the town is presently working in phases 9 and 10 and actively constructing 11 and 12. “The resolutions were simply a small change order to that capital improvement project. There is no expansion, simply a build-out of the already permitted cell.”

The second resolution was made to authorize the commissioner of finance to amend the capital budget to increase the cost of the landfill’s cell 6 construction with the bond amendment from $25,600,000 to $26,297,960, or a total of $697,960, through a budget-neutral transfer. The transfer was made to accommodate the increased cost of the construction.

Both resolutions caused a brief stir in the community, with fears of expansion. According to town officials, the town is still on track to close the landfill after max capacity is reached by or before 2024. In the meantime, mitigation processes and capping are taking place in an effort to be able to close for good once capacity is reached.

The landfill, according to a town spokesperson, hasn’t taken household trash since 1989. Instead, garbage is collected and shipped to Huntington, where it is incinerated and then brought back to the landfill as ash. At the time supervisor Ed Romaine was elected, in 2012, he made a pledge to close the landfill and canceled the previous administration’s application to increase the height. Construction and demolition debris is also welcomed at the landfill, in an effort to combat illegal dumping.

Last summer, the town launched the single-largest capping project, while also announcing the use of hydrogen peroxide to quell the smells. The purpose of capping is to contain and provide a barrier to the disposed waste and prevent rainwater from infiltrating it and causing leaching. At this time, cells 1 through parts of cell 6 are capped, an over-70-percent closure.