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Great Lakes Cheese to transport sludge to Rodman landfill

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In a move that will save time and labor for both parties, Great Lakes Cheese plans to ship sludge produced by waste materials at its Adams plant to the landfill operated by the Development Authority of the North Country in Rodman.

The company expects to start transporting its sludge to the regional landfill from its 23 Phelps St. plant by the end of the year, authority CEO James W. Wright said.

Sludge from the plant now is spread on farmland surrounding the plant.

But the company began exploring alternatives this summer after the hot, dry weather created some challenges to disposing of the waste, and it reached out to DANC for assistance.

Great Lakes plans to mix sawdust pellets with its sludge to reduce its liquid content, which has to be below 20 percent to meet landfill requirements from the state Department of Health.

When the company begins transporting sludge to the landfill, DANC plans to use the product as a daily protective ground covering to cover trash.

To do that, the authority will have to acquire “beneficial use” approval from DEC.

The authority has offered guidance to the company over the past few months to help it solve its waste disposal dilemma, Mr. Wright said.

“Our job was to recognize that this wasn’t just a solid waste problem, but an economic development problem,” he said. “If you need to produce a product, then you have to have a cost-effective way of disposing waste.”

Plant manager John H. Jennings refused to comment when called Monday. Calls made to the company’s headquarters Monday and Tuesday in Hiram, Ohio, were not returned.

Richard R. LeClerc, solid waste management division manager for DANC, said that using sludge from Great Lakes Cheese as a protective ground cover will enable the authority to avoid using native soils at the landfill for that task.

“We would reduce the amount of native material used from out permitted borrow areas at the facility,” Mr. LeClerc said. “There’s only so much soil that can be used, and if we can minimize that, it saves our long-term availability” of that soil.

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