November 30, 2021

County expects recycling equipment to cost $290K

Cortland Standard File Photo

Randy Bishop stacks bails of crushed cans at the Cortland County Recyling Center in this file photo.

Cortland County may spend almost $290,000 for machinery as the county prepares to take over its recycling program in January.

“This is just up-front costs,” Highway Superintendent Charlie Sudbrink said Tuesday. “The legislators knew this was coming. We won’t be buying this much every year.”

The Solid Waste Committee approved on Tuesday, 5-0, buying a walking floor trailer, skid steer and heavy duty stationary skid steer and voted, 4-1, to design and install an elevated waste handling conveyor system.

The equipment will be needed when the county takes over the recycling program from Casella Waste Management, which runs the program now. Legislators voted in December to exercise a one-year cancellation clause after falling prices for selling the recycled materials meant the county had to pay $200,000 more to handle recyclables than it expected.

Legislator Richard Stock (D-Cortland) voted against the conveyor system because the bid numbers had not been provided yet. Legislators George Wagner (R-Marathon, Lapeer) and Ron VanDee (D-Cortland) were absent.

“I support you guys 100%, you’re doing a wonderful job,” Stock said. “My ignorance and not knowing how it’s been historically, for me personally I’d like to see numbers.”

Sudbrink said he had thought the committee would meet after the bids had come in, but mixed up the days. The number would be filled in on the agenda item by the time it came before the Budget and Finance Committee and then full Legislature to be approved.

“It should be around $100,000,” he said.

He also noted that each machinery purchase for the recycling center would get a 50% match from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Sudbrink said the purchases were needed because items like the conveyor the county uses now is owned by Casella Waste Management, whose contract with the county expires Dec. 31.

The other purchase costs are:
• A walking floor trailer — $82,150, to Hale Trailer of Jessup, Pa.
• Skid steer — $39,650, to Tracy Road Equipment of East Syracuse.
• Heavy duty stationary compactor — $68,000 to Decapolis of Monroe, Minn.

Also during the meeting, legislators voted, 4-1, to award a bid for construction of a leachate pump station building to shelter workers and equipment during the winter as workers pump leachate from the county landfill.

“It gets real icy in the winter,” Sudbrink said. “It’s more of safety issue.”

Stock voted against it because it, too, did not have the bid proposals filled in. However, Sudbrink said he expects it to cost between $50,000 and $100,000.

“Where’s the money going to come from, you think?” asked Legislator Paul Heider (R-Cuyler, Solon, Truxton).

Sudbrink said it will come from a budget reserve account.

“I think it will cover everything,” he said. “We wouldn’t be asking for anything out of the general fund.”