Waste To Energy Facility Proposed For Seneca County

Dec 4, 2017

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Opposition is growing to a proposed waste incinerator to be built at a site at the former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus.

The proposed plant would produce electricity by burning up to 26 hundred tons of trash each day.

That waste would be brought in by truck or rail.

This week the Seneca County Board of Supervisors Environmental Affairs Committee voted unanimously on a motion that would ban any solid waste management facility from being built in Seneca County.

Committee Chair Steve Churchill introduced the motion, which will go before the County board for a vote December 12th.

He says there are many issues surrounding the existing landfills in the area, and many reasons to oppose this project.

"They're proposing to bring in the trash by train.  It's the same trash train the community fought last year, and we prevailed," he said. "Putting a waste incinerating plant down in the middle of the county, which is effectively the heart of the Finger Lakes, the Town of Romulus, really makes no sense."

The group Seneca Lake Guardian is also opposed to the plan.

President of the group, Joseph Campbell, says current waste management activities already foul the air and present traffic problems there.

"We have one of the largest landfills within a few miles of each other, and this proposal brings in thousands of tons of other people's garbage primarily coming from New York City, every day, by truck and by rail," he said.

Environmental Attorney Allan Knauf represents Circular enerG, the company that would build the proposed facility.

He says the state encourages waste to energy facilities over landfills.

"We're going to meet all the strictest environmental standards.  And I say if you're opposed to waste energy, you're in favor of landfilling garbage, because that's the alternative," he said.

Knauf says the project is great for the environment as well as the local economy.

On Monday, Circular enerG will present its plans, along with a request for a special permit, to the Romulus Town Planning Board.