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Friday, October 31, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,

Nicole Antonucci
A truck approaches the entrance booth to the MOSA transfer station on Route 5s in the town of Florida Tuesday afternoon.

Nicole Antonucci
Containers of garbage sit in a pit waiting to be picked up behind the MOSA facility at the Amsterdam transfer station Tuesday.

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End of an era - MOSA's final day is at hand

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - Updated: 6:20 PM

By NICOLE ANTONUCCI

and HEATHER NELLIS

The 25-year trash partnership between Montgomery, Otsego and Schoharie counties officially ends today with the dissolution of the tri-county solid waste management authority.

Effective Thursday, each county will be responsible for its own garbage.

According to Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort, that means little to no change for local residents, whether they bring their trash to the curb or to the transfer stations.

"If we did our jobs properly, there will be no impact to residents," Ossenfort said. "I think you will see everything from the hours of operation to the fee schedule to remain very similar to what it was under MOSA and our goal is to keep it that way."

Each municipality handles waste management differently; those decisions are made locally.

For instance, the city of Amsterdam Department of Public Works collects curbside trash and hauls it to the transfer station on Route 5S, and that will not change -- unless the city chooses to bring its trash somewhere else.

"But with the transfer station being just a couple miles away, and there being only slight changes to the fee schedule, I can't see that happening," Ossenfort said.

Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane said there are no plans to change garbage collection and the city will continue to bring its trash to the transfer station.

No change is expected for the municipalities that hire private companies to pick up and haul their trash to the transfer stations. Again, it's a local decision, Ossenfort said.

"I have not heard that once that the private companies are considering taking the trash somewhere else," he said. "We have been in communication with the companies that the transfer stations are still open and operating, and what the new fee schedule looks like."

And, nothing will change for the residents who make the trip to the transfer stations themselves.

According to the MOSA website, all facilities owned by MOSA will be transferred to the county in which they are located, with all operations to become the responsibility of the individual counties.

The tipping fee is expected to decrease slightly from its current $72.64 a ton to approximately $72.50 a ton. The final tipping fee schedule should be available by Thursday.

"At this point we want to make sure we were not making too drastic changes in the first year," Ossenfort said. "We can spend a year doing this then take a look at how the year went and reassess whether or not we can provide any further cost-lowering measures."

As for the impact on employees, Ossenfort said, some are being hired by GottaDo Contracting, the private company that will handle the county's transfer stations, while some will be hired by the county Department of Public Works.

"There are three positions we posted that are related to the work of the post-closure management of the landfills," he said.

While MOSA is dissolving, it doesn't mean the counties won't be working together. As part of the post-closure, Montgomery County has entered an intermunicipal agreement with the other two counties for Montgomery County to assume control of the post-closure work of maintaining and monitoring the landfills.

Montgomery County has also entered an agreement to send the county's trash to the Fulton County landfill on Mud Road.

However, when it came to the transfer stations, each county decided to use a private contractor. GottaDo Contracting will handle operations at Montgomery County's three transfer stations.

Ossenfort said that while all has been accomplished since January, there is still a considerable amount of work that has to be done.

     

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