I want to pass on that I did, after my last letter, hear from the regional director of the “transfer station.” Also, that she lives in Oneonta and has in fact previously visited it. We agreed to meet there today and she came with three other members of Casella and the Otsego County Director of Solid Waste Management. We reviewed the situation.
An important fact to be considered is that the recycling processing center in Albany, to which our material intended for recycling is sent, charges by weight of what is sent. Since the bins into which we place our material to be recycled are open to the weather, the cardboard in them becomes wet. Material is weighed when it reaches Sierra Processing, the facility which first handles and sorts the material before sending it on to the Albany center.
The recent letter in response to criticisms of the Northern Transfer station by the Oneonta division manager overstates the virtues of said facility. It is inconceivable that anyone could take “great pride” in that facility when Casella is ranked in the bottom 25 percent on ZoomInfo with regard to management, and at the bottom of seven competing businesses.
Casella is located in Vermont and it is difficult to believe that the division manager has ever been on site (she could not be reached for comment). I would be interested in the compliments allegedly received: Perhaps they could be published? There has been no detectable interest in cleaning up the litter along the “fence” until the publication of a complaint. The division manager implies that despite hiring efforts they have been forced to rely on their other “staff members” and says it is “no small task,” but that is because they aren’t hired for enough time to attend to it.
Recently, a resident of Cooperstown wrote in with concerns about the appearance and operations of the Otsego County Northern Transfer Station located in Cooperstown. The station, as pointed out in the letter, is managed by Casella.
As the division manager of Casella’s Oneonta Hauling Division and Transfer Stations in Otsego and Schoharie, I take great pride in our facilities and feel as though we do an outstanding job representing the very best of our county. We are your friends, neighbors, and relatives and we work hard to serve all of you. When it doesn’t meet your standards, you can be sure that it is not meeting ours.
While it’s all very well that things get recycled once they reach Albany, our local “Northern Transfer Station” is a disgrace. Anyone who doubts this is cordially invited to visit—Tuesday or Wednesday are especially good days. It is a stinking, filthy mess. Furthermore, the bins in which recycled material is supposed to go, are open: When weather gets in and dampens the contents, they go to garbage.
Casella may be the lowest bidder but they are not fit to manage this task, and I urge that they be replaced the next time their contract comes up. Management was much better under MOSA [Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Management Authority].
Additionally, cleaning up the blowing plastic along the “fence” line on the way up to the trash section is the responsibility of the county, not Casella. This is chronically neglected, despite complaints. I think the County Board should do it themselves, since they apparently can’t find the way to do it otherwise.
Given our current situation, I find even a trip to the Northern Transfer Station – aka The Dump – an exciting occasion. I have looked at it with fresh eyes. And it’s not a pretty sight.
OK, I know it’s a dump, but there are dumps and then there are dumps. This one is really awful.
Fetid piles of trash, papers blowing everywhere, the pathetic plastic fence that is supposed to keep trash from blowing away is broken down and plastic blows over it anyway, into the field and trees below.
Mr. Casella, who has got his customers doing the sorting for him as far as possible, should be ashamed of himself.
Might we have a response? And, perhaps, a clean-up?