According to Van Buren officials, the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) is interested in purchasing 54 acres along Brickyard Road, a property known as the former Turner Farm.
If purchased, the property would be adjacent to OCRRA's existing Site 31, a 437-acre lot between Brickyard and Turner roads (north of the Thruway) that currently has no use, but is permitted as a landfill site. The additional property would provide better access to North Brickyard Road.
"The current site doesn't have good egress," said Van Buren Supervisor Claude Sykes.
OCRRA purchased the property in the mid 1980s as a potential landfill for ash by-product from the Waste-To-Energy facility in the town of Onondaga. Currently, OCRRA transports the ash by-product to the Seneca Meadows Landfill near Waterloo. However, according to OCRRA's Web site, construction of the Van Buren in-county landfill "will occur when environmental and economic factors dictate that it is in the best interest of Onondaga County businesses and residents."
According to Sykes, OCRRA's responsibility for the Waste-To-Energy facility will end in 2015.
"This leads us to believe there is no use for (the Van Buren) site and OCRRA might sell it," Sykes said. "Since it is a permitted site with good egress and ingress, [the Turner Farm purchase] makes the site more marketable. We're getting more concerned every day."
If the property is sold as a landfill, it will devalue surrounding property and burden the infrastructure.
"People don't want to live next to a landfill," Sykes said.
The town plans to raise objections.
"We will fight it," Sykes said. "We are also willing to work with OCCRA to look at alternative uses."
One usage Sykes has in mind is a possible wind farm, which he said is a lot more palatable to constituents than a landfill.
"If wind is there, it is a much better alternative to landfill," Sykes said.