Repairs of Ontario County landfill won’t cost taxpayers money

Update on the Ontario County Landfill landslide

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ONTARIO COUNTY, N.Y. – The Ontario County administrator spoke with News10NBC about a recent accident at the county landfill, where about three and a half acres of material slid down the face of the hill last Wednesday

The Ontario County Landfill in the town of Seneca, off Routes 5 and 20 between Geneva and Canandaigua, appears to be busy with trucks circling and employees walking around. One can see how dangerous this could have been, but thankfully no one was injured in the landslide Nov. 15.

The material that fell, part of a cap on the landfill’s southwest corner, was installed over the summer and meant to be permanent. It limits the amount of precipitation that goes into the landfill, helping to reduce gases and odors from escaping.

Ontario County Administrator Chris DeBolt says it is currently unknown what caused the debris to fall. Casella Waste Systems operates the county-owned landfill and is responsible for the construction of the 7-acre cap. The county is working with Casella and the state Department of Environmental Conservation to investigate.

There’s good news for people who live here: Repairs won’t cost Ontario County taxpayers any money since Casella runs it.

DeBolt says they’re working to get as much done as they can before snow falls, and he gave an idea of the damage.

“Three and a half acres of soil, 30 inches deep, is a lot of material when you add all that up. So, there’s a lot of material that’s no longer where it’s supposed to be. Crews were able to move a significant amount of that on Friday before the rain set in. So that was a good thing,” he said.

DeBolt says there’s no danger of waste coming out of the landfill.

“We don’t have much construction season left before it’s going to be snowy and not safe to get equipment up on that slope. So Casella and the engineers are working with the DEC to figure out what are the best things to do, kind of temporarily during the winter,” DeBolt said, adding, “There’s no danger that waste is going to come out of the landfill. It’s more a matter of trying to keep water from going into the landfill and trying to make sure that no gas and odor comes out to disturb the surrounding neighborhoods.”

Casella released a statement that reads: “We have made significant progress in moving soil over the weekend and throughout the day today. There continues to be no impact to the surrounding environment and no personal injuries due to the incident that occurred last Wednesday. The work continues alongside the state and county officials to determine a cause and members of the surrounding community should feel confident that there is no increased risk to public health or the natural environment at this time.”