McGraw neighbors will file lawsuit to keep downstate trash out of the Cortland County landfill

Lesa Williams and her family live just down the street from the Cortland County landfill in McGraw. Williams knows the county is considering allowing the landfill to take in trash from other parts of the state but she has questions about how safe that is.

"They don't have the manpower to handle, they don't have the equipment. They don't take care of what's brought in now, let alone bring in double," said Williams at a Tuesday night meeting in McGraw.

Cortland County's administrator has said the landfill is currently only taking in about half of the forty four thousand tons of garbage it can handle each year. Taking trash from other parts of the state could also help bring in much needed revenue. Cortlandville Councilman Ron Rocco organized the meeting for neighbors. Rocco says the landfill doesn't need to bring in more revenue and that large amounts of additional trash could damage Cortland's main water source.

"If that water was polluted, we couldn't get water from Skaneateles or Cayuga lake like Tompkins county or Syracuse can," said Rocco.

Neighbors plan to file a lawsuit this week that could block the plan from moving forward. Attorney Lee Miller says the county needs to look at alternatives and more environmental testing.

"Probably the most galling aspect of this whole endeavor is that there are options that are viable and are in use in other New York state counties that could make more money for this county and poses a risk to our aquifer," said Miller.

The Cortland County legislature is expected to decide on the landfill expansion plan on December 22nd.