Seneca Meadows hosts meeting on proposed landfill expansion

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SENECA FALLS, N.Y. — People from in and around Seneca Falls gathered Thursday for a meeting over a proposed expansion of New York’s largest landfill.

Thursday’s meeting, hosted by landfill operator Seneca Meadows Inc., is a requirement for the company to be in compliance with the state’s public participation plan. The state makes the ultimate determination on the landfill’s future.

At Thursday’s meeting, Seneca Meadows Inc. representatives listened to the concerns of neighbors over pursuit of a state permit that would allow it expand and to continue operation through 2040 at current dumping rates.

Matt Venuti attended the meeting to vocalize his opposition to the plan.

“It’s a toxic dump that’s going to create big problems in the future. And if they don’t stop it now, it’s going to get bigger and create bigger problems,” Venuti said.

The Seneca Meadows landfill is where 6,000 tons of garbage comes each day, six days a week.

Only a small percentage of the trash in the landfill is local. Large trucks haul in trash from downstate each day, a third of which comes from New York City.

That’s one reason why Jane Regan, a member of the City Council in nearby Geneva, said expanding the landfill is not acceptable.

“There was a closing date of 2025. A lot of people were counting on that. and now not only is it not only definite that it’s going to close, it very well could expand,” Regan said.

If approved, officials with Seneca Meadows Inc. have said the plan will meet and exceed all federal and state standards.

Proponents of the landfill expansion argue it would provide a boost to the community through the millions of dollars flowing into the town under an agreement with Waste Connections, which owns Seneca Meadows.

The Seneca Falls Town Board earlier this month tabled taking action on a Memorandum of Understanding for a host agreement with Waste Connections. Town Supervisor Mike Ferrara noted that it is the state Department of Environmental Conservation that will determine the future of the landfill, and that the proposed host agreement is “to protect the people of Seneca Falls in case the DEC extends SMI’s permit.”