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June 25, 2010

DiNapoli: Delaware County’s Composting Facility
is Good For the Environment

Delaware County’s composting facility has extended the lifespan of its landfill by diverting a significant portion of the county’s waste stream from the landfill, according to a report released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“The county’s composting facility is reducing waste flow and saving landfill space,” said DiNapoli. “This is good for the environment and it’s good for taxpayers. Taxpayers in Delaware County won’t have to pay increased taxes for new landfill construction during these difficult times.” The audit covered the period January 2000 to December 2009.

Since composting operations began, the county has used 51 percent less space in its landfill and has extended the lifespan of the landfill by approximately 17 years.

From November 2005 through 2009, the composting facility saved 16,097 metric tons of carbon equivalent of landfill gases from entering the atmosphere. This has the same effect as:

  • Taking 3,078 passenger vehicles off the road or saving 1.81 million gallons of gasoline from being consumed over the course of the landfill’s first four years in operation; or
  • Taking an additional 33,553 passenger vehicles off the road or saving an additional 19.7 million gallons of gasoline from being consumed over the landfill’s remaining 30-year lifespan.

Auditors from DiNapoli’s office noted that by constructing the composting facility, rather than constructing and operating a new landfill, the county saved approximately $35.3 million. In addition, municipalities can generate revenue from the sale of compost material. Over a three-year time period, the county received nearly $23,000 in sales of compost material.

DiNapoli noted that environmentally friendly practices and revenue generating activities such as this should not be overlooked during these difficult times.

The results of this audit have been discussed with county officials and their comments were considered in preparing this report.

Click here for a copy of this report.


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