Supervisors eye options for trash disposal

FONDA – The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors is looking at options for getting rid of the county’s garbage.

Last month, the board approved eventually withdrawing the county from the Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority. The county’s contract with MOSA will end next May.

MOSA, a public authority, is responsible for getting rid of roughly 117,000 tons of garbage in the three counties involved with it.

The supervisors voted to leave MOSA in part because the county has to pay for shortfalls in the amount of waste it generates. In addition, the charge per ton of solid waste took a toll on the county, officials said.

John Thayer, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said a substantial amount of money from the county has gone to MOSA over the years.

“Just a few years ago, we were subsidizing the garbage at $19 a ton for every ton that went across the scale at MOSA for Montgomery County waste,” he said. “We haven’t done that for about three years now. We were paying a substantial [Guaranteed Annual Tonnage] shortfall, which we have not been paying. Instead we’ve been paying around $100,000 instead of over a million dollars. Over the years a substantial amount of money has gone to MOSA, but that has been reversed.”

Now that the board has decided to get the county out of MOSA, it is exploring options for the county.

Thayer said the first step, however, is to negotiate with Otsego and Schoharie counties regarding the extraction from MOSA.

“We need to sit down with Otsego and Schoharie counties and MOSA to negotiate the extraction from MOSA,” he said. “We need to get home rule request from the legislature to withdraw from the solid waste authority.”

Thayer said there are many solid waste options for Montgomery County. One option would be maintaining transfer stations with an agreement obtained from MOSA after the county leaves when the contract ends. The county’s trash would be hauled from the county to a western New York landfill, Thayer said.

Another option would be a potential partnership with Fulton County, he said.

“We will be looking at whether or not we want to operate the transfer stations. We’ll also be sitting down with Fulton County to see if there’s anything we can do to work out an agreement with them and see if they’re interested,” Thayer said. “There are a lot of options that will be worked on in the coming months.”