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Niagara County Refuse Disposal District Director Richard P. Pope is proposing that the district's only active landfill stay in business for five more years, in hopes of earning profits of at least $1.25 million to apply toward the maintenance of old landfills.

District board Chairman Clyde L. Burmaster said at a meeting Tuesday, he will ask the board to also consider the notion of removing all the waste from the open construction and demolition landfill in hopes of avoiding eventual closing costs for it.

The two men are casting about for a course of action in the wake of the failure of their effort to sell the active construction and demolition, or C&D, landfill, and the two closed landfills that adjoin it. They are located off the William Gregory Bypass in Lockport.

The refuse district offered all three landfills for sale, but no bids were received. The deadline for bids was last Tuesday.

In a two-page letter to board members released this weekend, Pope suggested three steps:

Cutting spending immediately in the budget areas related to the post-closure maintenance of Landfills 1 and 2, the inactive Lockport sites. The maintenance and monitoring, required for 30 years by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, outran the profits generated by the C&D landfill and resulted in the imposition of an extra property tax on most county property owners this year.

Keeping the C&D facility open through 2004 with a target of $250,000 per year in profits, while negotiating with the DEC to allow use of the material in that landfill as fill for the leaking caps of Landfills 1 and 2. The DEC has already allowed such use for 18,000 tons of C&D material to be moved to Landfill 1 in 2000.

Working harder to obtain state grants for landfill remediation, while pursuing legal action against companies that disposed of waste at Landfills 1 and 2. Under state and federal law, such disposers can be held liable for remediation costs.

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