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LOCKPORT – A proposal to try to offset the cost of capping the Niagara County Refuse Disposal District’s last landfill by selling its unused space has failed.

Acting District Director Dawn M. Timm told county legislators this week that the only bid received would have cost the county more than $150,000, instead of offsetting the cost of capping the construction and demolition landfill.

Called the C&D landfill, it was the last active operation of the Refuse District. It closed July 3, 2013, and the county has been selling off its equipment. But the district must remain in operation, because it now has four closed landfills – three in Lockport and one in Wheatfield – that must be monitored to comply with state Department of Environmental Conservation regulations.

Timm said the C&D landfill had about 43,000 cubic yards of space left when it went out of business. The county hoped to sell rights to unused space to the same company that would install the cap. That company could use those rights at another landfill.

The only bid came from Environmental Service Group of the City of Tonawanda, but it showed the cost of capping was $155,875 more than the firm was willing to pay for rights to unused air space.

“This bid further testifies that our air space has no value,” Timm said. “At this point, I’m abandoning the air space as a concept.”

Instead, bids will be sought simply to cap the C&D landfill.

Meanwhile, the legislators on the district board decided to spring for about $46,000 worth of repairs to the district’s 2002 Volvo leachate hauling truck, which carries liquid runoff from the Lockport landfills to a sewage treatment plant two or three times a week.

The district continued to sell off equipment recently. A BOMAG trash compactor was sold in an online auction last month for $125,200. The district still owes $250,000 on the 10-year lease that it signed on the compactor in 2009. The district decided to pay that off in a lump sum, with the auction proceeds and other equipment sales providing the money.

One of the items being given up is a $23,000 locker for household hazardous waste the district set up in late 2011 at Seneca and South Eighth streets in the Village of Lewiston. Residents are leaving material there, but neither the county nor the village is picking it up. Mayor Terry C. Collesano asked the county to remove it.

Timm said a crane and a lowboy trailer would be needed to remove it, so it will be auctioned.

“It might be most prudent to declare it surplus and have somebody take it,” she said.

Unlike the waste lockers in the three cities, the county received no DEC grant to pay for the Lewiston locker.

Another piece of equipment associated with the Refuse District also was sold in May: the giant tub grinder the county bought in 2002 with $600,000 of its share of the proceeds from the state’s lawsuit against the tobacco companies.

Called “the Gruendler” after its brand name, the grinder was auctioned online for $74,200. It actually belonged to the Public Works Department, but it was most often used to smash up material brought to the C&D landfill.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com