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Environment| Environment

Jacob Fox, Town of Geneva Climate Smart Coordinator, answers questions about recycling, composting and lawn care.

Today’s question: When will the Geneva Resource Recovery Park be completed? And what can we expect?

Closed Loop Systems, my company, has processed over 500 tons biodegradable waste (food and yard waste) since it opened in March 2021. We expect this number of biodegradable waste to triple over the next few decades as we encourage and reward Geneva residents and businesses to seperate their biodegradable materials.

Phase 2 of Resource Recovery Park will be a full-service municipal transfer center with organics management. Closed Loop Systems’ goal is to be a collection and sorting center for the community, so that less than 20% goes to landfills. Currently, 60% of Geneva’s waste ends up in landfills. This is a significant loss and a significant cost.

Phase 2 will have a mixture of different collection containers. We will be adding a metal bin, construction and demolition debris container, paper/cardboard and plastic clothing donation bins, bottles/cans bins, zero-sort recycling bins, and a landfill bin. We will be holding regular collection events for ewaste, mattresses and other hard-to recycle materials.

Phase 2 will operate as a PAYT system (pay as you throw), which will weigh all materials that come in before they are dumped. This will allow us pricing incentives for different items to encourage waste diversion. For example, landfill will be more costly than organics or metallic so price signaling can be used to incentivize the separation of organics and metal.

I believe that this facility will reduce Geneva’s dependence upon out-of-own landfills. It will also help build community resilience. This facility will reduce the costs of waste management for both residents and businesses. They will also have assurances about where their waste is going. We can also keep the economic value of the community by handling the waste in Geneva. We will not see the money again if someone takes your waste out of town. They go to an outside operator. You can be sure that your money stays in the community and helps create meaningful jobs in Geneva if you partner with us.

We are looking for Geneva residents who are interested in participating in our preliminary testing. We will work closely with you to design an intentional collection program and delivery program that will make your waste management process more efficient, cost-effective, and regenerative. Please reach out to me at [email protected] if you are interested in being one of “testers.” Those who choose to participate in our “testing program” will work with us to devise a drop-off and collection system that will be specific to Geneva’s needs.

Jacob Fox, a resident of the City of Geneva, is a Climate Smart coordinator for the town of Geneva. He helps the town reduce waste and stormwater infrastructure and reduce energy use. His Climate Smart column is published monthly in The Finger Lakes Times.[email protected] can be reached with any questions or suggestions.

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