In The Loop

Welcome to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority's Blog

LCSWMA Ready to Defend DEP Permit to Vertically Expand Landfill

September 08, 2017 ·

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) announced it will vigorously defend its permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to vertically expand the Frey Farm Landfill in Conestoga. 

LCSWMA’s landfill serves a vital role in Lancaster County’s Integrated System by protecting the safety, health and welfare of the community through environmentally-safe solid waste disposal.  The $56M vertical expansion project will maximize LCSWMA’s current landfill site by using mechanically stabilized earthen berms.  This design limits the height increase to just 50 feet and lateral expansion to only 9-acres.  The result is 6.4 million cubic yards of capacity, enough to serve Lancaster County for the next 18-20 years.  This project also protects local resources by eliminating the need to acquire new land for landfilling purposes.

A small opposition group filed an appeal of the permit to the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) on August 24th.  In their appeal, appellants reiterate previous objections raised during the 2.5-year review process with DEP.  These complaints were extensively vetted by DEP, which ultimately determined the public benefits of this project clearly outweigh the potential harms and approved LCSWMA’s permit application.

“LCSWMA is prepared and well-positioned to defend this permit, and will do so jointly with DEP,” says Jim Warner, LCSWMA’s CEO.  “We have every confidence the EHB will affirm DEP’s decision.”

A prominent figure in the opposition group is Jeffrey Koons, a NYC resident and wealthy artist who owns vacation property in York County, directly across from the landfill.  Koons is listed in the appeal under the cover of “Stone Fence Acres, LP” and “Farmland Preservation, LP”.  Through his representing counsel, Koons has expressed displeasure with the aesthetic view of the landfill. 


“It’s unfortunate that Jeffrey Koons considers the view from his property more important than the disposal needs of over 500,000 Lancaster County residents,” says Warner.  “Due to Koons’ visual preference, defending our permit will cost upwards of $1 million of public money.”

LCSWMA underscores the importance of this vertical expansion permit for continuation for Lancaster County’s cost-effective and award-winning Integrated System.  Revocation of the permit would put the entire system, and future of waste management in Lancaster County, at risk.  Such a development could mean a financial impact of $10 million annually, translating into a 30% increase in refuse disposal fees.

While LCSWMA’s Integrated System effectively diverts 96-98% of Lancaster County’s municipal solid waste from the landfill each year, the reality is that not all waste can be reused, recycled or combusted for energy and must be disposed in an environmentally-safe manner.

LCSWMA invested over a decade in planning for a vertical expansion of the Frey Farm Landfill, including extensive environmental and engineering analyses.  The goal was to design a project that provides this much-needed public service (i.e., future landfill capacity), while minimizing its environmental, social and aesthetic impacts. 

LCSWMA likewise attained necessary approvals from the host municipality of Manor Township, including receiving support for the project from the Board of Supervisors.  The Frey Farm Landfill also holds a stellar environmental record, as it’s the only municipal landfill in PA to not receive a violation from DEP in 25 years.

The EHB process begins in October 2017, and could last up to two years.  In the coming weeks, LCSWMA’s Board of Directors will determine whether to begin construction amid the appeal.  Originally, construction was slated to begin this fall, to be ready for waste placement in 2019 when the current landfill capacity ends.

Tags: Frey Farm Landfill

FREE Home Compost Workshops This Fall!

August 31, 2017 ·

LCSWMA is partnering with municipalities, institutions, community organizations and Penn State Master Gardeners of Lancaster County to conduct home compost workshops where residents will learn how to recycle organic waste from their kitchens and gardens instead of putting it in the trash. Composting is an excellent way to recycle vegetable scraps, grass clippings, leaves, and other organic materials and turn them into a useful and valuable soil amendment.

Workshop attendees will also learn how to build effective, yet inexpensive home compost bins to meet their needs. Each household in attendance will receive a free kitchen scrap collection bucket and enter a raffle for a home compost bin courtesy of LCSWMA.

Lancaster County residents are invited to attend either of the home compost workshops scheduled. If required, residents should pre-register by no later than Friday at noon prior to the workshop they’ll be attending.

September 9 at the Borough of Columbia Yard Waste Facility located at 254 Blue Lane accessible from Route 441 (River Road), Columbia. In case of rain, the workshop will be held at the Columbia Borough Public Works Building located at 431 South Front Street, Columbia. The workshop is from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. No fee is required, but pre-registration is recommended. To pre-register or for more information, please contact Columbia Borough at (717) 684-2467 Ext. 7317 or email parmold@columbiapa.net.

October 14 at the Millport Conservancy located at 737 East Millport Road, Lititz. The workshop is from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. No fee is required, but pre-registration is recommended. To pre-register or for more information, please contact the Warwick Township Recycling Coordinator at (717) 626-8900 or email BKreider@warwicktownship.org.

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LCSWMA Commissions Steam to Perdue AgriBusiness for Soybean Processing Facility

August 08, 2017 ·

Today, LCSWMA began commissioning steam to Perdue AgriBusiness in preparation for the targeted September 2017 start-up of their Soybean Processing Facility adjacent to the Lancaster Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Facility in Conoy Township. LCSWMA sold the contiguous 57-acre tract of land to Perdue in 2016 for $2.48 million in 2016.

The Perdue Soybean Processing Facility includes two main components:

(1) A grain elevator to receive, dry, store, and ship soybeans grown and harvested throughout the region.

(2) The processing plant to process roughly 20 million bushels of soybeans per year and produce soybean meal, soybean hulls, and soybean oil.

LCSWMA will provide around 15% of the steam from the Lancaster WTE Facility (up to 57,000 pounds/hour), which will reduce the environmental footprint of the Perdue Soybean Processing Facility and lower its emissions by avoiding the need to use fossil fuels. Using steam from the Lancaster WTE Facility, instead of creating steam from natural gas or fossil fuels, avoids 20,000-30,000 metric tons of CO2 annually for this project. LCSWMA will also provide process water (up to 130,000 gallons/day or 47 million gallons/annually) from the Lancaster WTE Facility, eliminating the need to use water from the Susquehanna River for the Perdue Soybean Processing Facility. The process water is returned to the Lancaster WTE Facility, where it is treated and recycled yet again in a closed-loop, zero discharge system.

In May 2016, Perdue received its air permit from PA-DEP for the Soybean Processing Facility and began groundwork and construction on the project. LCSWMA spent the latter half of the year focused on engineering design for the necessary steam modifications to the Lancaster WTE Facility, in order to integrate the two facilities. The partners anticipate full commencement of operations at the site to occur in fall 2017.


Tags: In The News · Waste-to-Energy

LCSWMA Receives DEP Approval to Vertically Expand the Frey Farm Landfill

July 28, 2017 ·

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) announced it received final approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on its application for a major permit modification to vertically expand the Frey Farm Landfill.

While LCSWMA’s Integrated System effectively diverts 96-98% of Lancaster County’s municipal solid waste from the landfill each year, the reality is that not all waste can be reused, recycled or combusted for energy and must be disposed in an environmentally-safe manner. Thus, the Frey Farm Landfill, located in Conestoga, serves an important role in the Integrated System by protecting the safety, health and welfare of the community. The Frey Farm Landfill is the only municipal landfill in PA to not receive a violation from DEP in 25 years.

The $56M vertical expansion project will maximize LCSWMA’s current landfill site by using mechanically stabilized earthen berms. This design limits the height increase to just 50 feet and lateral expansion to only 9-acres. The result is 6.4 million cubic yards of capacity, which translates to 18-20 years of environmentally-safe disposal for Lancaster County. This project also protects local resources by eliminating the need to acquire new land for landfilling purposes.

Leading to this milestone, LCSWMA invested over a decade in planning for a vertical expansion of the Frey Farm Landfill, including extensive environmental and engineering analyses. The goal was to design a project that provides this much-needed public service (i.e., future landfill capacity), while minimizing its environmental, social and aesthetic impacts.

Through an extensive and comprehensive permit review, DEP determined the public benefits of this project clearly outweigh the known and potential harms. Additionally, DEP undertook an intensive technical review process to affirm the stability of the site and the appropriateness of the project design.

“LCSWMA commends DEP for its diligence in thoroughly vetting the permit application, and for its discernment in determining this project responsibly provides for the future needs of the community,” says Jim Warner, LCSWMA’s CEO. “Receiving DEP approval for the vertical expansion project was a critical step to ensure LCSWMA can continue providing Lancaster County with cost-effective waste management services.”

The modified permit contains numerous conditions to protect the environment and community, including ongoing monitoring of the site and surrounding environment. Additionally, LCSWMA committed to developing a visual landscape synthesis plan to aesthetically blend the Frey Farm Landfill into the surrounding scenery over time.

Construction is slated to begin this fall, to be ready for waste placement by spring 2019.

Tags: Frey Farm Landfill · In The News

Celebrate Clean Water

June 01, 2017 ·

Join LCSWMA and other conservation-minded organizations during the inaugural Lancaster Water Week, happening June 3-10. During this week-long celebration of clean water, hosted by the Lancaster Conservancy, learn how Lancaster County's 1,500 miles of streams drive economic opportunity, and how protecting these waters benefits us all.

Fourteen special events are planned for Water Week, including three with LCSWMA.

Save-the-date, and enjoy free educational, family-friendly programming:

Saturday, June 3National Trails Day Celebration
Lace up your hiking boots or grab your bicycle and hit the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail for National Trails Day, happening Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free family-friendly activities will take place at three event hubs - Columbia Crossing, Mussleman-Vesta and East Donegal Riverfront Park. Visit LCSWMA's event booth at Columbia Crossing to learn how we make waste a resource and enjoy an interactive activity for kids.

Wednesday, June 7Watershed Expo
Celebrate and learn about our local watersheds at the Chiques Creek Watershed Alliance's Watershed Expo, happening Wednesday, June 7 from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Manheim Farm Show Complex. LCSWMA will host a Home Compost Workshop during the event. Stay for FREE ice cream, live music and interactive exhibits about the importance of clean water.

Saturday, June 10: Make-and-Take Workshop
Join LCSWMA on Saturday, June 10 for a Make-and-Take Workshop where participants will create their own earth-friendly cleaning products. The Make-and-Take Workshop focuses on the importance of proper household hazardous waste disposal, in helping protect our water, and offers options for environmentally-friendly alternatives. This event will take place from 9 - 10 a.m. in LCSWMA's Training Room at the Transfer Station Complex located at 1299 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster. Registration is required. Sign up here.

And for those outside of the area, visit http://nationaltrailsday.americanhiking.org/ for suggestions on how you can get involved in your community.

Tags: Community Events · Community Recreation · Northwest Lancaster County River Trail · Trail Development · Wildlife

FREE Home Compost Workshops

April 07, 2017 ·

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) is partnering with local municipalities, community organizations and Penn State Master Gardeners of Lancaster County to conduct FREE home compost workshops for residents, where individuals can learn how to recycle organic waste from their kitchens and gardens instead of putting it in the trash.

Composting is an excellent way to recycle vegetable scraps, grass clippings, leaves and other organics, turning those materials into a useful and valuable product to naturally improve the soil. Workshop attendees will also learn how to build effective, yet inexpensive home compost bins to meet their needs.  Each household attending a compost workshop can enter a drawing to receive a free kitchen scrap collection bucket courtesy of LCSWMA.

Lancaster County residents are invited to attend any of the home compost workshops scheduled for this year at no cost.  Residents are asked to pre-register by noon on the Friday prior to the workshop they’ll be attending.  The following lists dates and specific details for each workshop:

April 19 at the City of Lancaster Recycling Facility located at 850 New Holland Avenue, Lancaster.  The workshop is from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  To pre-register or for more information, contact the City of Lancaster Solid Waste and Recycling Manager at (717) 291-4762 or email tbreneisen@cityoflancasterpa.com.

May 20 at the East Donegal Township Municipal Building located at 190 Rock Point Road, Marietta.  The workshop is from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  To pre-register or for more information, contact the East Donegal Township Recycling Coordinator at (717) 426-3167 or email vicki@eastdonegaltwp.com.

June 7 at the Chiques Creek Alliance Watershed Expo at the Manheim Farm Show Complex, 502 East Adele Avenue, Manheim.  The workshop is from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.  For more information, email manager@raphotownship.com.  Pre-registration is not necessary.  This family event includes presenters from the Lancaster Environmental Center, Lancaster Conservation District, native plant nurseries, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Lancaster Farmland Trust, Lancaster Conservancy and others.

Tags: Community Events · Green Tips · Recycling

3/18/17: Extended Hours

March 16, 2017 ·

On Saturday, March 18th, LCSWMA will offer extended operating hours at the following facilities:

  • Transfer Station:  6:30am - 2:30pm
  • Lancaster WTE Facility:  7:00am - 1:00pm
  • SRMC:  5:00am - 2:30pm

The Household Hazardous Waste Facility and Frey Farm Landfill will operate under normal hours.

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3/15/2017: LCSWMA Operations Resume

March 14, 2017 ·

All LCSWMA facilities will resume normal operations Wednesday, March 15. The Transfer Station Complex, Household Hazardous Waste Facility, Frey Farm Landfill, Lancaster WTE Facility and the Susquehanna Resource Management Complex will open at 7am. LCSWMA's main office will open at 9am.

For a list of facility operating hours, click here

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3/14/2017: LCSWMA Closed

March 13, 2017 ·

Due to the impending snow storm, all LCSWMA facilities will be CLOSED on Tuesday, March 14. This includes the Transfer Station Complex, Household Hazardous Waste Facility, Frey Farm Landfill, Lancaster WTE Facility and the Susquehanna Resource Management Complex. Please check back for updates regarding the storm's impact on Wednesday's operations.

For a list of facility operating hours, click here

Tags: Frey Farm Landfill · HHW · SRMC · Waste-to-Energy

Going Green in the New Year

January 26, 2017 ·

Each new year comes with a promise of a fresh start, new experiences and for some, resolutions. It’s not too late to resolve to go green in 2017! Here are some simple and easy resolutions that contribute to a healthier planet.

Plastic Water Bottles: Ditch Them!
Buying bottled water not only costs money, but also generates plastic waste. In fact, enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times. Instead, invest in an at-home filtering pitcher or a reusable bottle made from aluminum, glass or recycled plastic.

Reusable Bags: A Must Have
Plastic bags are a huge drain on the environment, taking 15 to 1,000 years to decompose. Only 2% of bags are recycled each year, and the rest are sent to landfills or make their way to pollute our oceans. Next time you make a trip to the grocery story, consider using a reusable bag. Washable and sturdy, reusable bags make shopping trips more convenient and ecofriendly.

Cut Back on Paper Towels
Did you know 13 billion pounds of paper towels end up in landfills every day? Investing in a few cotton cloths and some fabric napkins can help reduce paper waste significantly. When the fabric napkins get dirty, just run them through the laundry. Cloth alternatives are not only less wasteful, but more economical.

Switch to Rechargeable Batteries
According to the EPA, Americans throw away more than 3 billion batteries every year. Many of these batteries will end up in landfills, taking up land as a precious resource. Make the switch to rechargeable batteries. This will decrease your battery consumption to a fraction it was before, saving you money, and producing less waste.

If the holidays have left you with a pile of old batteries you don’t know what to do with, LCSWMA offers free battery bags to Lancaster County residents. Place the bag next to your garbage can, or deliver it to our Household Hazardous Waste Facility on Harrisburg Pike for free disposal. To request bags or for more information, email us at info@lcswma.org.

Proper Disposal of Waste
When it comes to disposal, not all waste is the same. For instance, paint and electronics should not be placed in your trash can. Household hazardous waste (HHW) should be delivered to LCSWMA’s HHW Facility, free to Lancaster County residents. For a complete list of materials accepted at the HHW Facility, view our Resident’s Guide.

Tags: Green Tips · Recycling