The future of Cochecton Transfer Station questioned

County to begin accepting e-waste

MONTICELLO, NY —  The future of the Interim Western Sullivan Transfer Station was called into question at a meeting of the Sullivan County Public Works Committee at the government center on December 8.

Committee Chair Joe Perrello said that while the county agreed to pay the Town of Cochecton $10,000 for 2017 as rent for the facility, which is owned by the town, after that year, the county would not pay rent to the town. He said, “It’s not going to be negotiated. [The town] will either have us there to provide a service that the county pays for, that all the people who live in that area pay for, or there won’t be one there based on their decision not to have us there.”

According to county chair Luis Alvarez, back in 1990 the operation at the transfer station was run by the town with town employees, and the county assumed operation of the facility in 1991. It currently staffs it with two county employees.

Perrello said the county has an operation to provide a service to residents of that part of the county, but he objected to paying for land for an operation that benefits the community, and he accused the town of failing to negotiate in good faith.

Previously, the county had been paying $15,000 per year, and as part of the deal, employees of the Town of Cochecton had provided plowing services to the facility in the winter.

If the town refuses to allow the county to operate the facility, it will close at the end of the year, and many residents of the northwestern portion of the county will have to travel farther to dispose of their household waste.

Coincidentally, a private recycling and waste center is being constructed on State Route 52 outside of Jeffersonville. Jim Hughson first proposed building the recycling center in 2010. In spite of objections from neighbors, the building, which was mandated by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation as part of the operation, is now under construction (see page 3).

According to Christopher Lockwood of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, the partnership is considering a loan request from the organization running the recycling center. It is not clear if this operation will be able to service the residents who are currently using the transfer station in Cochecton.

County soon to begin accepting e-waste

In another development regarding waste, the county has received a low bid from a company that has agreed to take away e-waste from the transfer stations; e-waste comprises electronic products such as televisions and computers. The county stopped accepting e-waste last year because the worldwide market for it collapsed and there were no vendors willing to take it.

There is now a vendor that will take it, but it will cost the county an estimated $60,000 to have it hauled away. Ed McAndrew, commissioner of the Department of Public Works, said he and others had checked the company’s plan for handling the e-waste and were convinced that it would be following applicable environmental laws.

The legislators held a brief discussion about whether the county should charge a fee to accept e-waste, but a decision was not reached because the legislators wanted more information before making that decision.

[See editorial.]


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