Little Falls Waste Water Treatment facility going green

By Nicole Pitt

LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - The City of Little Falls dedicated it's new wastewater treatment program at a ceremony Monday morning. The project is helping the environment and also saving taxpayer dollars.

Little Falls is one of the first municipalities in the area to use a Biosolids Beneficial Reuse Program. The project was sparked because the Environmental Protection Agency came out with new air emission quality standards. The incinerator at the facility is more than 40 years old and would have to be replaced to meet the new standards. Replacement costs ranged from $2 to $6 million dollars. Mayor Robert Peters wanted to find a cost-effective way to meet the EPA standards, saving the tax payers money. James Palmer was brought on as Project Coordinator to find a solution.

The City starting accepting bids and a company out of Jordan, NY, WeCare Organics, was the winning bidder. WeCare's plan to truck the waste to Pennsylania would save the city millions of dollars. "Our budget came in underneath $200,000," said James Palmer. "Which by coincidence we re-utilized the existing budget funds and did not have to ask the tax payers or the finance committee or the common council to borrow any money for the project at all." Officials were also able to save money by taking some of the metal parts attached to the old incinerator to the scrap yard and using the proceeds to help fund the project.

"I think saving the taxpayers that kind of money is big for us," said Little Falls Mayor Robert Peters. "I'm really proud of Little Falls. We're really keeping up with the green. There are a lot of other projects that we have in mind to do along with this."

A new conveyor belt was installed and the waste product goes through machinery and down the conveyor belt where it drops into a tractor trailer waiting inside a newly constructed building. Then the product is trucked to Pennsylvania where it is used as organic matter.

The program has been in place since January. Chief Plant Operator Sam Ostasz says it is fantastic. Ostasz says not only has the program saved the city a ton of money but it's also good for the environment. He adds that the EPA and the DEC have raved about the program.

Mayor Peters invites any other municipalities that are interested in transitioning to a Biosolids Reuse Program to contact city officials to learn more about the process.

Mayor Peters say the city is now ahead of the curve when it comes to meeting EPA standards.

City councilor David Burelson says the DPW and other crews went above and beyond to save money for the taxpayers.

The day to day operating costs of the program are also much cheaper, eliminating the cost of the oil that was needed to run the incinerator.

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