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Franklin County weighing trash destination

October 20, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The two landfills in Franklin County accept a lot of municipal solid waste from the Mid-Atlantic region, but one facility from the Scranton, Pa., area is among three expressing interest in accepting some of the 80,000 tons generated here each year.

The county's first municipal solid waste plan went into effect in 1990, which designated that trash collected in the county go to either Waste Management's Mountain View Landfill west of Greencastle, or the former R.A. Bender landfill near Scotland, Pa., according to Sherri Clayton, a senior planner with the county planning department.

The Bender facility was later sold and became the IESI Blue Ridge Landfill.

Tuesday the board of county commissioners received responses to its request for proposals from landfills tat will reserve space for county garbage over the next 10 years. Waste Management and the IESI Blue Ridge Landfill, submitted proposals, as did Keystone Sanitary Landfill Inc. of Dunmore, Pa., in Lackawanna County.

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"They have to assure us there's enough space in the facility to dispose of Franklin County Waste for the next 10 years," Clayton said of the companies that submitted proposals. Each must specify how many tons of capacity will be set aside for the county and guarantee that they will be able to accept trash every day, she said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issues permits to landfills indicating how much trash each can receive each day, according to Clayton. Mountain View's permitted daily average is 1,500 tons and IESI's is 857 tons, according to Sandy Roderick, a spokeswoman for the department of environmental protection.

This will be the first update of that original municipal solid waste plan, according to Clayton. The Waste Management proposal also includes eight other landfills it owns that could become possible repositories for Franklin County trash.

There is no bidding involved in the process, according to Commissioner G. Warren Elliott. Private haulers, including Waste Management and IESI, do most of the curbside trash pickup in the county and most individuals in townships contract with a hauler.

Chambersburg is the only municipality in the county with its own sanitation department and some boroughs contract with haulers to collect trash within their limits. It is the haulers that pay the landfills to take in the trash, not the county, according to Elliott.

Elliott said the planning department will review the proposals for at least 30 days before considering any action.

"Our goal is to make sure there's a place for the local people to take their trash," said Elliott.

"We're actually generating less waste per day than we were 10 years ago," according to Elliott. He said that is largely due to increased recycling. In 1995, he said the recycling rate was 7.6 percent, while Clayton said the figure now tops 31 percent.

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