Push-back to Seneca Meadows Landfill expansion request

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. (WHEC) — It’s the birthplace of women’s rights, home to a world-class wine industry and the largest landfill in New York State. We’re talking about the Seneca Meadows Landfill.

It’s set to close in 2025, but its owners, Seneca Meadows Incorporated (SMI), want to expand and extend that deadline. A group of advocates and business owners is trying to stop that.

The Seneca Meadows Landfill is in Seneca Falls; the heart of the Finger Lakes. It’s a mega landfill where 6,000 tons of garbage come each day, six days a week. That’s 75 tractor-trailer loads of trash going through historic Seneca Falls daily. That trash comes from four states and New York City right into our own backyard.

A group of advocates and business owners is now asking Gov. Kathy Hochul to deny SMI’s request to expand and to enforce the Department of Environmental Conservation’s planned closure date of 2025. SMI wants to keep the landfill open until 2040. Those against the expansion say it will also increase the landfill’s vertical height 70 feet.

Three Brothers Winery is just 11 miles from the landfill.

"We have a flourishing tourism economy. It cannot coexist with the landfill surrounding us much longer," said Three Brothers Winery President Erica Paolicelli. "At some point the decision will have to be made. Are we a tourism destination, or are we a garbage destination?"

Seneca Falls Town Councilmember Steve Churchill says they get $3 million a year from SMI, but says the Finger Lakes region has paid the price.

"We have had our future compromised. We put a frightful and unknown burden on our children and their children. We have sold our souls for a few measly dollars," Churchill said.

News10NBC has reached out to SMI for a comment. We have not yet heard back.

In the past, SMI officials have said the landfill’s footprint will not change. Officials have also said the plan will meet and exceed all federal and state standards.

The group’s letter to Gov. Hochul is below:

02.21.2022 Hochul Letter With Sigs by News10NBC on Scribd