News – Transfer Station Update

An update for Town residents regarding the Transfer Station

The Town has a contract with the UCRRA, as do most municipalities, to haul our refuse and recyclables. Under Ulster County flow control laws imposed by the County Legislature, the UCRRA must receive all MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) and recyclables produced or collected in Ulster County. The Town contract expires December 31, 2020. The Town can choose to hire another hauler, but it is expected the cost will be greater than the UCRRA.

The UCRRA removed the scale and compactors ftom the transfer station on Friday. They belong to them, not the Town, and were left from when the site was managed by the UCRRA many years ago. This caused the Town to discontinue the ability to receive loose by the pound refuse beginning Friday.

The heart of the dispute is based around interpretation of the definition of commercial versus residential waste.

The UCRRA contends the Town “MUST be accepting commercial C&D” as they say our volume taken is too high to only be residential C&D. They also say our open bin has too great a percentage of C&D for them to legally haul it. The law, according to their interpretation, is no greater than 20%.

The Town explains this as residents are instructed to put bagged refuse in the compactor roll off and loose refuse in the open bin. That would cause the appearance of commercial C&D in those bins. The Town was making an adjustment by having bagged refuse be deposited in the noncompactor bin in response when the UCRRA decided to remove the scale.

The Town further maintains we have close to 1500 permit users, all residential, and have a far greater utilization of the Transfer Station by residents than many other more populated Towns. For example, Esopus has 400 permit users. My contention is because we are a very rural area most people do not hire a home garbage pickup company.

The second contention is a dispute over what classifies as commercial versus residential C&D. The UCRRA maintains any vehicle with a commercial plate or logo on the side must be commercial. The Town is allowed to accept residential C&D up to 2 cubic yards (a pickup truck bed size approximately). The Town cannot accept commercial waste.

The Town disputes this definition and believes the refuse itself, not the vehicle should define the source. We have many residents who only have 1 vehicle which may double as their work vehicle. We also have many pickup truck drivers who must have commercial plates due to vehicle weight that are strictly residential. We are a very rural area. The Town and the UCRRA had requested an interpretation from the NYS DEC, the agency which oversees solid waste management in NYS, this past spring, however no answer has been received.

The Town Board is investigating other sources to haul the refuse other than the UCRRA. The Board is also discussing with the Town attorney all legal options.
Also, pricing for large items such as furniture or mattresses will be established.

The Town apologizes to the residents, but believes it is on the right side of the dispute.
The Town will fight for the residents to be allowed to dispose of refuse in the Town of Rochester and not be forced to drive to New Paltz or Kingston. The Town believes the UCRRA has made suppositions not factual determinations, and has reacted incorrectly based on their suppositions.

Thank you,

Mike Baden
Town of Rochester Supervisor