Current Projects

Seneca Meadows Permit Renewal 2017

Seneca Meadows has submitted a permit renewal application to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to continue operations within our currently approved Part 360 permit. This is not a permit to expand the landfill. Documents for review and comment are below. Comments may be submitted in writing, or verbally at the public comment session. All comments will be considered in making the final decision about issuance of the permit. Written comments about the permit application must be received by August 18, 2017 to be considered and should be sent to:

Kimberly Merchant, Deputy Regional Permit Administrator
NYSDEC Region 8
6274 East Avon-Lima Road
Avon, NY 14414
OR Emailed to: senecameadowshearing@dec.ny.gov

Spring Construction Projects 2017
Seneca Falls Schools

Construction season is just getting started at Seneca Meadows. Here are some of the projects we have planned:

Construction of 15 acres of landfill liner (the network of plastic and low permeability soil layers and collection pipes that protect the groundwater underneath the landfill) in a new cell;

Completion of the 25 acre final cover (the geomembrane, clayey soil, topsoil and grass layers that encase the landfill to prevent rainwater from entering it) project begun last year, on the western hill;

Completion of the 24 acre temporary geomembrane cover project begun last year on the western hill;

Initiation of a new 28 acre final cover project on the eastern hill;

Installation of 7,500 feet of landfill gas collector pipes (piping installed directly in the waste to extract landfill gas and transport it to the gas-to-energy facility, and renewable natural gas facility);

Installation of 50 vertical landfill gas wells (collector wells installed directly in the waste and connected to collector pipes to extract landfill gas);

Construction of a new storm water pond (rainwater that falls on the final cover — not on the garbage — is collected in storm water ponds, then tested to ensure that the water is clean);

How Does Seneca Meadows Control Odor?

Reflecting our ongoing commitment to the community and building on prior work, since January 2016 we’ve invested $7.5 M in odor control technology, and we continue to see measurable improvements. A 30 percent increase in our landfill gas collection system efficiency has reduced odors from the landfill, and many community members have told us that they notice the difference.

Although we are pleased with this progress, we continue to work to control and minimize odors. In the last 12 months, we have installed:

  • 25.7 acres of final cap
  • 12 acres of temporary cap
  • 50 vertical gas extraction wells
  • 21 horizontal gas collectors and 43 gas extraction pocket wells
  • over 5,000 feet of the header pipe that conveys the extracted gas to our natural gas plant and gas to electricity plant

Our team has worked hard to reduce odors, and we will continue to work with regulators and invest in the latest technology to do even more to be a good neighbor.

Partnering to Cut Energy Costs for Local Schools
Seneca Falls Schools

Seneca Meadows, Inc. and Seneca Energy have developed a unique partnership that promises to cut annual energy costs for the Seneca Falls Central School District by $60,000 to $70,000.

When Seneca Meadows and Seneca Energy (the independent power producer that purchases landfill gas from Seneca Meadows to generate electricity and renewable natural gas) reached an agreement to build a landfill gas-to-natural gas plant adjacent to the landfill, Seneca Meadows stipulated in the contract that Seneca Energy would provide 125,000 Therms of renewable natural gas directly to the Seneca Falls School District annually, for as long as the Seneca Energy plant is in operation. Upon investigating the logistics of delivering renewable natural gas to the school district, however, Seneca Energy discovered several obstacles which rendered the project unfeasible. Seneca Energy will, instead, cover the cost of the District’s natural gas bill, up to 125,000 Therms per year; which will more than cover the annual natural gas needs of the District.

Seneca Falls School Superintendent, Bob McKeveny, said, “Given the current constraints to education funding, reimbursement of natural gas costs by Seneca Meadows and Seneca Energy is significant.  The reimbursement of monthly natural gas costs will allow the District to continue exercising fiscal responsibility in meeting its core mission of providing a quality education to all Seneca Falls students.  The District recognizes the significance of this contribution to offset annual costs and is appreciative of Seneca Meadows’ and Seneca Energy’s generosity.  The District would also like to pursue natural gas options for school buses and sees this agreement as a means to pursue a lower costing fuel option for buses in the future.”

Seneca Energy Bill

Don Gentilcore, Area Manager for Seneca Meadows said this about the partnership, “We are pleased to have the resources to develop partnerships that benefit our local community.  This creative arrangement provides direct financial relief to the Seneca Falls School District and demonstrates how the development of renewable energy projects such as Seneca Energy’s are not only beneficial to the environment, but the local economy as well.   We hope to continue to encourage more great relationships in the future.”

The Seneca Falls school District currently uses natural gas for heating and hot water in its four schools and its District office.

Landfill Gas to Energy

Whether landfill gas is burned as a fuel to generate electricity or refined into renewable natural gas, the results are the same: there is less pollution, because producing energy with landfill gas is a cleaner process than traditional energy production, and the end product (renewable natural gas) burns cleaner than fossil fuels. To learn more, visit our Gas-to-Energy page.

 

OWLeS Project

As described in the OWLeS website, lake-effect systems form through surface-air interactions as a cold air mass is advected over relatively warm, (at least partially), ice-free mesoscale bodies of water. The OWLeS project focuses on Lake Ontario because of its size and orientation, the frequency of lake-effect systems events (especially intense single bands), its nearby moderate orography, the impact of Lake Ontario lake-effect systems hazards in particular on public safety and commerce, and the proximity of several universities with large atmospheric science programs.

The OWLeS study will incorporate X-band and S-band dual-polarization radars, an aircraft instrumented with particle probes and profiling cloud radar and lidar, a mobile integrated sounding system, a network of radiosondes, and a surface network of snow characterization instruments

The study is funded, primarily, by the National Science Foundation. To learn more about OWLeS, visit their website http://owles.org.


Reverse Osmosis Purifies Leachate

  Leachate Before & After

 

It’s pretty black and white: the effect of reverse osmosis on leachate, that is. The process involves high pressure filtration, which moves the leachate through multiple, semi-permeable membranes to remove more than 99 percent of contaminants. The results are as clear as the purified leachate, and exactly what we were hoping for when we installed our new reverse osmosis treatment system at our landfill site this fall.

For those of you who are new to our website, a bit of explanation may be in order. Leachate is rainwater that has contacted waste. In a landfill, the rainwater trickles down through the waste and is captured at the bottom by the liner system, and pumped out for treatment.

Typically, the leachate is trucked, or sent via pipeline, to waste water treatment plants, and until this fall, that’s how we managed our leachate. Due to the nature of the leachate, we were limited to the number of gallons we could send to the Seneca Falls treatment plant and trucked the remaining gallons to other, out-of-county treatment plants.

With the implementation of our reverse osmosis treatment system, the purified leachate is so clean that it could be discharged directly into a body of water. However, since Seneca Meadows lacks the infrastructure for direct discharge, we are now transferring nearly all of our purified leachate, through the sewer system, to Seneca Falls. This has resulted in a significant increase in revenue for the Seneca Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant, and has also eliminated up to 15 truck trips per day to out of county plants.

Our Area Manager, Don Gentilcore has this to say about our new reverse osmosis leachate treatment faciity, “This is a positive on many levels. We’re pumping more money into our local economy, decreasing our carbon footprint, and eliminating the discharge of untreated leachate through the Seneca Falls sewer system, while realizing long term operating savings. We’ve also bumped up our workforce with the new operator for the leachate treatment facility, and we were able to make use of an abandoned building on our site, which will increase tax revenue for the county.”

To view a video of the operation of a reverse osmosis leachate treatment system, like the one at Seneca Meadows, log onto http://vimeo.com/47055349.

Past Projects