LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Neighbors let their voices be heard during a public hearing regarding the proposed expansion of the Colonie landfill.
The Colonie landfill is expected to be full by 2018, so an expansion is being considered. But the expansion is being met with controversy and backlash. A public hearing was held at Shaker High School on Tuesday.
“We see it. We smell it,” Henrietta O’Grady, of Halfmoon, said. “We are concerned with how it changes the character of neighborhoods.”
The Colonie landfill has sat off Route 9 for over 50 years. At 212 acres, it is beginning to run out of room. Experts give it two years until it reaches its maximum capacity.
“We only get one chance to get this right, and we should take all the time needed,” a concerned neighbor said.
Dozens gathered at Shaker Tuesday night. Some supported the expansion. They argued the trash has to go somewhere, and shipping it elsewhere is expensive.
“Simply put, if we had to truck millions of pounds of garbage to the next available landfill in Rochester, I think it would add millions to our tax levy,” Alison McLean Lane, of the Albany County Legislature, said.
O’Grady, however, said the landfill was supposed to be closing.
“Now we find out they are going to double the size of it, so we are extremely upset,” she said.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation also attended the hearing.
“We have made no final decision, yet,” DEC Regional Permit Administrator William Clarke said. “We won’t make a final decision until we have evaluated all of the public comments and evaluated the application in light of those comments.”
In the meantime, neighbors like O’Grady continue to fight for what they believe is right.
“Our culture, our heritage, our historical districts; those are also involved,” she said.
Tuesday was the second public hearing on the matter. A third one is not currently scheduled.
If approved, the expansion would extend the landfill’s lifespan until 2040.