Casella, DEC trying to solve vexing problem of landfill litter in trees

A major wind storm on Jan. 5 caused havoc at the Ontario County Landfill on Routes 5& 20.

High winds tore open holes in protective netting on the boundaries of the 389-acre landfill, allowing thousands of pieces of litter, mainly plastic shopping bags, to blow into nearby trees.

Officials from Casella Waste Systems, operator of the landfill for Ontario County, hired a company to send workers up the trees to collect the litter. But they were unable to get them all, and as they continue trying to finish removing the remaining litter, they’ve encountered two problems.

Landfill Manager Rob Fadden told the Planning & Environmental Quality Committee of the Board of Supervisors about the dilemma this week.

Fadden said workers the company hired will not climb the ash trees because the emerald ash borer pest infestation has made the trees potentially unsafe and weakened. Fadden also said that there is poison ivy on the tree trunks, which has stopped climbers from getting up into the trees.

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