The idea Montgomery County will deposit its garbage at the Fulton County landfill brings to mind the old phrase about one man's trash being another man's treasure.
However, the notion Montgomery County's long-term trash problem can be solved by the Fulton County landfill is garbage.
The situation the Montgomery County Legislature finds itself in is unfortunate. For years, supervisors in Montgomery County complained about how much MOSA charged to take care of garbage. Since 1989, MOSA has managed trash disposal for Montgomery, Otsego and Schoharie counties. The agency operates five transfer stations in the three counties. It arranges for about 117,000 tons of garbage to be hauled to landfills in the western part of New York state and maintains two closed landfills, one of them in Montgomery County.
Of course, none of that was done for free. For years, supervisors in Montgomery County complained about how much MOSA charged to take care of garbage. Yet, despite all of their complaints, no plan was put in place for the day when Montgomery County was no longer in MOSA.
Well, the Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority's service agreement with the three counties is ending April 30.
Now, a potential mess - including what landfill the garbage will be dropped off at - is in the lap of the new legislators and county executive.
Fortunately, Fulton County may be willing to take Montgomery County's garbage. Fulton County does accept out-of-county garbage for $56 a ton. The municipal rate in Fulton County is $33 a ton for garbage.
However, we caution the legislators to not get too comfortable with the situation. Using Fulton County's landfill would not be a good long-term answer for Montgomery County.
Any landfill has a finite life. The more trash that gets dumped in, the quicker the landfill will need to be closed.
Officials in Montgomery County still need to figure out the long-term answer for what to do with their county's trash. It will not be easy, but there is no more time to kick the trash can down the road.