A plan to expand High Acres Landfill in Perinton has been postponed for more than 10 years after a state Supreme Court judge determined that the Department of Environmental Conservation’s approval of the project must be updated to fit existing laws and technology.

A plan to expand High Acres Landfill in Perinton has been postponed for more than 10 years after a state Supreme Court judge determined that the Department of Environmental Conservation’s approval of the project must be updated to fit existing laws and technology.

Two years ago, the Perinton Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals approved the construction of a 5.8-acre wedge that would join the landfill in Perinton with a new site in the town of Macedon. The second landfill would increase the current space by more than 144 acres. Waste Management would then operate both landfills as a single entity.

As part of the original proposition, the height requirement of the landfill to be raised100 feet above the mound, which is already 90 acres high. This request, however, was withdrawn by Waste Management to eliminate the risk of adverse environmental impact, including air pollution.
Since then, they have been granted the necessary permits including two for freshwater wetlands permit and water quality certification by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Waste Management must still receive an air facility permit before construction can begin, as well as approval for the vertical expansion.

Despite these revisions to the project, Judge John Ark determined that the town’s plan, with the exception of the vertical expansion, did not violate any laws and was both “rational and supported by substantial evidence.”

Perinton Town Supervisor Jim Smith says this was encouraging for town leaders by showing that the approval procedure was prudent and aligned with state law.

Some residents complained that expanding the landfill, primarily through the vertical expansion, would create excess air pollution in violation of the law. Ark said that since construction will likely not start for another ten years, Waste Management would need to reapply for this approval from the DEC closer to the date of construction when factors such as changes in population and industry can be better assessed.

The volume of waste generated at High Acres has decreased 50 percent this year, which Smith attributes to economic factors like decreases in area manufacturing and consumption due to the economic recession.

For the time being, however, Perinton will continue to collect revenue from High Acres, which currently yields $1.7 million. Until Waste Management can move forward with the landfill expansion, Smith says Perinton residents can look forward to keeping that revenue in the town budget.

“Having that positive situation last longer is a good thing,” said Smith.