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February 6, 2014

MOSA talk explains end of an era

When it comes to your trash, don’t expect anything to change.

That was the message of a talk given by Karen Sullivan, Otsego County’s Solid Waste and Planning Department director, about the impending dissolution of the Montgomery-Otsego-Schoharie Solid Waste Authority, the organization that’s handled Otsego County’s solid waste for almost 25 years.

Sullivan also spoke about what will come next. 

Sullivan delivered the talk on MOSA at Cooperstown’s First Presbyterian Church on Jan. 29 at a joint meeting of the League of Women Voters and the Otsego County Conservation Association. OCCA Special Projects Manager Martha Clarvoe organized the event and introduced Sullivan.

“I’m surprised to see so many people out tonight to discuss garbage,” said Sullivan at the start of her talk.

Sullivan said that it is the hope of the county that the dissolving of MOSA won’t be noticed.

“I hope no one even realizes that there’s going to be a change,” said Sullivan.

MOSA was founded in the 1980’s in response to the closure of town landfills by the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the need for the three counties to manage their waste. It began operating in 1989. MOSA is run by a board of eight representatives: Three from Otsego County, two from Schoharie County and three from Montgomery County.

Today, MOSA  runs the five transfer stations: two of which are in Otsego, two of which are in Montgomery and one of which is in Schoharie. It also monitors three closed landfills: one in Otsego, and two in Montgomery. There are no active landfills in any of the three counties, and waste is shipped to western New York from the transfer stations for disposal.

Under the MOSA agreement, Otsego County paid 40 percent of the cost associated with MOSA, while Montgomery County paid 42 percent and Scohaire County paid 18 percent. Sullivan said that those numbers were determined when the association was first established, and that they were based off of the estimated load that each county would put on the system.

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