The Farmersville dump would be permitted to receive 3,000 tons of garbage per day, or about one million tons per year. According to the DEC's draft air permit for the proposed landfill, the landfill would be permitted to dispose 837,000 tons of waste per year for 22 years, or a total weight of 18.4 million tons. The draft air permit also says the landfill would have a design capacity of 23.68 million cubic yards, or a volume of 31.26 million cubic meters.
Near the end of its first permit term, the landfill can be expected to apply for permission to expand. Some of the largest dumps in New York are over 50 years old and still applying for permits to expand.
Cattaraugus County produces about 52,000 tons of solid waste per year, 50 percent of which is removed from the waste stream by recycling. Nearly all the local waste collected at the county's eight transfer stations not recycled goes to the Ellery Landfill in Chautauqua County under a cooperative arrangement between the two counties. Ellery was recently expanded and will not reach capacity for forty years.
To see what the future holds, drive to Chaffee on state Route 16, just north of Cattaraugus County, and look for Waste Management's office on the west side of the road. Behind the office is a six million ton dump. Drive down Hand Rd., alongside the Chaffee Landfill and you're likely to see erosion channels in the landfill cover that promote the escape of landfill gas to the environment, and scattered litter. What you won't see is the wetland behind the landfill, one acre of which was filled in last year when tons of cover material fell down.