The City of Albany, on behalf of the Capital Region Solid Waste Management Partnership Planning Unit (formerly known as ANSWERS), prepared a Modification (May 2009) to the existing ANSWERS Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) that was approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in 1992. The existing SWMP detailed the implementation of a program of waste reduction, recycling and reuse, and disposal of residual waste in a state-of-the-art landfill facility.
While the implementation schedule and the planning period for the existing SWMP runs through the year 2013, progress on the development of the originally proposed new long-term landfill facility was significantly delayed. In addition to this delay, membership in the Planning Unit has changed with several municipalities leaving and a new municipality joining. Given these issues, the NYSDEC has requested that the Planning Unit undertake a Plan Modification pursuant to state solid waste regulations.
The SWMP Modification was prepared to re-evaluate the existing options for the Planning Unit to reduce, re-use and recycle solid waste so that disposal quantities can be minimized over the short term. In addition, the SWMP Modification presents an evaluation of short and long term alternatives to the proposed Eastern Expansion of the Rapp Road Landfill.
The final component of the SWMP Modification is the preparation of a New SWMP for the Planning Unit. Among other things, the New SWMP will identify and evaluate alternative waste management technologies, including emerging technologies which may become available to further minimize requirements for land disposal. Institutional alternatives for future administration of the Planning Unit, including issues related to expansion of the Planning Unit and flow control will also be evaluated. The City is currently undertaking the preparation of the New SWMP and it is anticipated the New SWMP will be completed and accepted by the NYSDEC in 2011.
The preparation of the New SWMP will include a number of public informational meetings where the goals and objectives of the New SWMP will be indentified and discussed, and public input will be sought. It is also anticipated that once a draft of the New SWMP is completed (along with a Generic Environmental Impact Statement) the draft will be available for public comment and be the subject of a public hearing.
A SWMP Steering Committee was appointed by Mayor Jerry Jennings to formulate a preliminary draft SWMP document. The Steering Committee held monthly meetings during 2009 to discuss relevant issues and formulate a preliminary plan.
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