County Council visits waste transfer station

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By Chris Sardelli

To learn more about the city of Lancaster’s waste transfer station, Lancaster County Council members toured the facility Monday.

The visit was organized to educate new council members Cotton Cole, Kathy Sistare and Larry McCullough about the station because Lancaster City Council and County Council have been developing an agreement to jointly use the facility for area refuse.

The station, a temporary holding site where trash is transferred after it is picked up curbside, uses three trucks that haul more than 100 tons of solid waste to landfills every day.

Council Chairman Fred Thomas said an official agreement with the city for the county to use the station is being developed. Thomas said council will consider the agreement at council’s Jan. 26 meeting.

All seven council members and County Administrator Steve Willis toured the site at 1309 Lynwood Drive behind the Lancaster Public Works building.

“It’s hard to visualize,” Willis said. “Going to see it can really make a difference.”

Both Marty Cauthen, operations manager for the Lancaster’s Public Works Department, and Darin Robinson, county public works director, showed the group around and answered their questions.

Council members asked them about increases in tonnage, the cost of hauling trash away and how recycling can impact the amount of garbage.

“It’s good to get council to see the operations,” Robinson said. “Sometimes it’s difficult to show, prove or justify something unless they see it.”

The county, which had been transporting its garbage directly to various landfills for years, has been conducting a trial run of using the city’s station since early last year. During the trial run, the county has paid the city to haul its trash to area landfills.

In September, City Council approved a preliminary proposal to allow the county to continue using the station.

Willis has said the county is using the station to help with the increasing amount of refuse as the county continues to expand. Instead of replacing aging equipment, the county can instead share the city’s equipment.

The county examined several options, including the construction of its own transfer station, but realized it would be more cost-efficient to share the city’s station instead.

Cauthen hopes the station, which was built in 1995 and has a capacity of 200 tons, could eventually be expanded to accommodate the county’s growth.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416