Rochester, NY - Citing alarming statistics pointing to the recent exponential increase of New York City-area garbage being transported to the High Acres Landfill, Monroe County Executive candidate Adam Bello today pledged to focus the county’s efforts on finding a solution for affected residents.
“The people of Fairport and Perinton have been forced to endure a direct threat to the quality of life in their communities. This has been allowed to occur with essentially no check from state or local government,” said Bello. “County government can and must stand up for these residents. Our region has been allowed to become the dumping ground for New York City’s garbage for too long and it must stop.”
Bello cited reports indicating a 277% increase since 2014 in the amount of NYC-sourced garbage being deposited at High Acres – which sits on the border of Perinton (Monroe County) and Macedon (Wayne County). In 2014, no waste at the facility originated in New York City, yet in 2017, NYC waste accounted for 71% of the garbage deposited.
Due largely to the significant increase in NYC-waste accepted at the facility, 54% of the municipal solid waste landfilled in New York State now ends up in the Finger Lakes region. This proportion has increased, in part, due to a new rail transfer station that was completed in Macedon earlier in the decade.
“It’s hard to overstate the negative impact of New York City garbage on neighborhoods on the eastside of Monroe County,” Bello said. “The little league fields we’re standing at today were shut down in 2018 due to the smell of garbage and have been out of use ever since. Just down the street, outdoor school recess for the kids in this community has to be canceled if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction.”
Bello noted that other municipalities have taken steps on behalf of their residents to mitigate the impact of local landfills. The town of Seneca Falls passed a law that would close the state’s largest landfill, Seneca Meadows. Geneva passed a law that would ban future permits for the Ontario Landfill after the current permit expires. If something isn’t done locally, High Acres only stands to receive even more garbage, causing the problem to get even worse.
“The residents standing with me today are desperate for leadership and for someone to help solve this problem. They deserve better,” Bello continued. “In recent years, Monroe County’s strongest growth has been the rate at which we import garbage from New York City. When I’m elected County Executive, that will change.”
Bello announced his three-point plan to ensure Monroe County Government starts to take action on behalf of its residents:
Monroe County will join the lawsuit filed against Waste Management by Fresh Air for the Eastside, a coalition of residents frustrated with the significant increase in odor and noise, who took matters into their own hands when faced with inaction by their local government.
Monroe County will update the Solid Waste Law to require that Monroe County permit all landfills in the county. Current law only requires county permits for landfills wholly contained within the county’s borders. Expanding the permitting process will introduce the local control that is critical to ensuring the interests of the community are no longer ignored.
As County Executive, Bello will call on Waste Management to come to the table and make property taxpayers whole. The Town of Macedon has a property value protection plan in their Host Benefit Agreement, and the Town of Perinton deserves the same.
Joining Bello in the call for action on the High Acres Landfill were candidates for Monroe County Legislature Josh Foladare and John Baynes, who would each represent portions of the Town of Perinton.
"I thank County Clerk Bello for recognizing the immense negative impact that High Acres and local governmental decisions have created for residents of Fairport and Perinton,” said Foldaare. “For too long, residents of our town and village have had to stand up and fight by themselves to protect the quality of life for their children, their families, and their neighborhoods. I stand fully behind this proposal and look forward to continuing to work with and on behalf of my fellow neighbors to fix this issue."
Baynes added, “Like Monroe County’s irresponsible fiscal policy - cash in the short term for debt in the future - the Town of Perinton took the money from tipping fees for garbage now, and the community and its children have to live with the stink for the long term.”
Throughout the rest of the campaign, Bello will continue to share his vision and highlight the need for new ideas, new energy, and new leadership in order to truly move Monroe County forward.