Every year the growth, and non-growth, of a variety of areas of interest—such as the economy, the population, bird migrations, immigration, wildfires, utilities, stocks, violence, college rankings, China and the like—are subject to intense research and interpretation. Inevitably, the results are published far and wide just after the last drop of the New Year’s ball.
One such fast-developing aspect of our life is our carbon footprint (CO2e), the total greenhouse gas emissions that trap and release heat, causing global warming. GHG is caused, directly and indirectly, by individuals, events, organizations, services, places or products. As these emissions enter the atmosphere they give rise to extreme precipitation, acidification and the warming of the oceans. Think climate change.
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.
A group of Otsego County residents toured Sierra Processing in Albany to find out exactly what happens to the items we place in our local recycling bins. Where does it all go? Does it really get recycled? How do they sort it?
When Otsego County’s official hauler, Casella Waste, empties our recycling bins at the Northern and Southern transfer stations, as well as the towns of Hartwick and Cherry Valley, the drivers haul it, unsorted, to Sierra Processing. Located across from the Port of Albany, Sierra processes—sorts and readies for sale—mixed recyclables for more than a dozen counties in the Capital District, as well as three in Massachusetts.
CLEAN UP – 9 a.m. – Noon. Morris residents are invited to join the Butternut Valley Alliance, others, to show your love for our Earth and help clean up the local roadways and streams, donate to the food bank, more. Parking Lot, Morris Central School, 65 W. Main St., Morris. Visit www.butternutvalleyalliance.org
RECYCLING – Noon – 3 p.m. Celebrate Earth Day and recycle responsibly. Bring your hard to recycle items including rigid expanded polystyrene containers and packing material, natural wine corks, paper shredding for residents, a clothing and textile collection, and more. Participants will receive a coupon for 10% off at the Ommegang Tap House. Pre-registration required to avoid congestion. Brewery Ommegang, 656 Co. Hwy. 33, Cooperstown. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/earth-festival-drive-through-drop-off-recycling/
RECRUITNY – Local fire stations open their doors to the public to recruit community members to the local volunteer fire department. Visit with the:
• West Oneonta Fire Department, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. featuring tours, demos, Q&A. 2865 Co. Hwy. 8, West Oneonta. 607-432-1310
• Wells Bridge Vol. Fire Department, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Open House. 114 Co. Hwy. 4, Wells Bridge. 607-988-2542.
• Richfield Springs Vol. Fire Department, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. open house. 3026 St. Hwy. 20, Richfield Springs. 315-858-0863.
• Unadilla Fire Department, Hours TBD. Open house, come meet the members, see the equipment, more. 77 Clifton St., Unadilla. 607-369-9150.
• Worcester Hose Company Inc., 1 – 3 p.m. Open house with equipment displays, demonstration, and refreshments. 36 Church St., Worcester. 607-397-8032.
• Morris Fire Department, Noon – 4 p.m. Open house. 117 Main St., Morris. 607-263-5500.
AUDUBON SOCIETY – 10 a.m. – Noon. Get your questions in Q&A session with the Delaware-Otsego Audubon society board members. Topics on everything from the society in general to birding to effects of lead ammunition. Presented as part of OCCA’s online Earth Festival. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/earth-festival/
BIRD COUNT – All Day. Get out, while maintaining social distance, to see how many different bird you can spot to report to the Delaware-Otsego Audubon society. All experience levels welcome. Visit www.facebook.com/DelawareOtsegoAudubonSociety/ for info.
Maureen Murray, Cooperstown, and Barbara Deemer, Oneonta help separate Styrofoam and plastics for Eva Davey, Westford, to put on the truck for recycling during the annual Earth Fest event at Milford Central School this afternoon. At right, Bill Hardy, Oneonta, of the ARC’s Oneonta ReUse Center, holds before photos of their re-purpose contest winner; an industrial fan that was made into an unique coffee table by Joanne Mkytyn of Oneonta. Guests could browse the clothing swap, shred old papers, enjoy dog herding demonstrations, taste local food and enjoys a wide selection of informational tables from local organizations.(Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
PONY PALOOZA – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Horse rescue opens doors for family friendly celebration. Includes pony hugs, tours, games, local vendors, rides, food, face painting, more. Rosemary Farm, 1646 Roses Brook Road, South Kortright. 607-538-1200 or visit www.facebook.com/RosemaryFarm/
HOPS FOR HISTORY – 2 – 8 p.m. Downtown venues offer food pairings with local beers. Tickets, $30 day-of. Available only at Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org
WOODSMEN’S FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Festival celebrates way people use, work with wood. Features lumberjack events, woodworking demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides, local vendors, mill tours, food, music, crafts, science exhibits, more. Cost, $9/adult. Hanford Mills, 51 Co. Hwy. 12, East Meredith. 607-278-5744 or visit www.hanfordmills.org
FALL ART SHOW – 1 – 3 p.m. Fall show features works by Leatherstocking Brush & Pallete Club, local artists. Includes bake sale to benefit Springfield Historical Society. Gym, Springfield Community Center, 29A, Springfield Center. 607-264-3375 or visit springfieldhistoricalsocietyny.org
OPENING RECEPTION – 5:30 – 7 p.m. Opening an exhibit Celebrating Commerce and Community. By first year CGP students, celebrates this years inductees to the Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame and includes refreshments, snacks, friends, furry friends, more. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org
HISTORY – 6:30 p.m. Learn about the Hartwick College Archives, which include the Cooper Papers among other cool items, with Shelley Wallace. Free, Open to the public. Kinney Memorial Library, 3140 Co. Rd. 11, Hartwick. Call 607-293-6600 or visit www.facebook.com/OtsegoIsHistory/
EARTH DAY FESTIVAL – 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Celebrate Earth Day, have fun, and learn about your environment at fun interactive exhibits, workshop, and more. Milford Central School, 42 Main St., Milford. Call 607-547-2536 Ext 0 or visit occainfo.org/earth-festival/
CIDER RUN – 10 a.m. 5K/10K run open to children and adults to benefit the Susquehanna Animal Shelter. Fly Creek Cider Mill, 288 Goose St., Fly Creek. Call 607-547-9692 or visit www.flycreekcidermill.com
CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. the Catskill Symphony Orchestra presents their Veterans day concert featuring Angelo Xian Yu performing Beethoven, Timothy Perry performing Mozart, Victor Sungarian performing Strauss. Tickets, Free to Veterans, $30 all others. Hunt Union Ballroom, SUNY Oneonta. Call 607-436-2670 or visit catskillsymphony.net
VETERANS & COMMUNITIES – Noon-5 p.m. Enjoy free lunch buffet followed by workshops, readings, & discussion of war, peace, country. Free, open to the public. Bright Hill Press & Literary Center, 94 Church St., Treadwell. Call 607-829-5055 or visit brighthillpress.org