Planning Unit Overview

The City of Albany, acting as lead agent for the Capital Region Solid Waste Management Partnership Planning Unit (formerly known as “ANSWERS”), operates a solid waste management system located in the City of Albany, Albany County, New York.

Currently, with a combined population of approximotely 206,000 people, these communities include:

As part of the solid waste management system, the City of Albany operates a landfill facility on Rapp Road within the city. This landfill, which is fully permitted by the NYSDEC, is anticipated to be able to provide relatively low cost, reliable and environmentally sound waste disposal capacity for the Planning Unit until the end of 2016.

In addition to the landfill facility, the municipalities that make up the Planning Unit typically operate resident’s drop-off stations for those residents who do not contract with private waste and recycling collection companies. Some municipalities, including the City of Albany, also facilitate the collection of yard waste, household hazardous wastes and electronics waste.

The Planning Unit is also served by several commercial recycling facilities that accept recyclables from both municipal and commercial collection vehicles. These facilities hold contracts with the Planning Unit municipalities or with the commercial collection companies.

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City of Albany Rapp Road Waste Management Facility
525 Rapp Road
Albany, NY 12205
P: 518-869-3651
F: 518-869-6825

Odor Hotline:

If you detect an odor that you think is coming from the City of Albany’s Rapp Road landfill, please call 453-8288 to report it.

Planning Unit History

Since 1981, the Capital Region Solid Waste Management Partnership (the “Partnership”), formerly known as ANSWERS, has operated a regional solid waste system serving communities in the Wasteshed.

The system also provides capacity for commercial, institutional and governmentally-generated waste from a multi-county area.

Approximately 360,000 tons of solid waste is managed by the Partnership for the Wasteshed on an annual basis. The Partnership’s landfill is the only solid waste disposal facility remaining within the Wasteshed. The Rapp Road Landfill is the only facility available to service the Partnership.

The City of Albany has committed to act as the lead municipality to ensure continued solid waste disposal capacity for the members of the Wasteshed. The City of Albany has functioned as the host community for the Wasteshed for the past 20 years.The Capital Region Solid Waste Management Partnership undertook, with other members of the Wasteshed, the preparation of a Solid Waste Management Plan (“SWMP”), in the early 1990’s

The Planning Unit’s original SWMP was accepted by the NYSDEC in 1992 and called for the development of a new landfill facility in additional to the reduction, reuse and recycling of materials. Citing difficulties related to this proposed new landfill facility resulted in expansion of the existing Rapp Road Landfill. As part of the expansion of the Rapp Road Landfill that will provide capacity until the end of 2016, the City of Albany, on behalf of the Planning Unit, prepared a SWMP modification that was approved by the NYSDEC in September of 2008. The SWMP modification set forth additional waste reduction and recycling goals for the Planning Unit and acknowledges the use of the existing landfill until 2016. It also reinforced the Planning Unit member municipalities’ commitment to education and enforcement of waste reduction and recycling laws.

Finally, to determine the best method for managing the solid waste generated in the Planning Unit beyond 2016, the City of Albany, on behalf of the Planning Unit, is preparing a new SWMP. It is anticipated that the new SWMP will be completed by the end of 2010.

Meetings & Events

When determined to be required, the Capital Region Solid Waste Management Partnership Planning Unit will hold meetings and other events regarding programs and projects. This page will be utilized to provide information regarding proposed meetings and events.

Currently, there are no meetings or events scheduled.

Rapp Road Landfill
Project Documents

The following project documents are provided for review:

Landfill Operations

The Rapp Road Landfill is situated on approximately 255 acres of City owned property west of Rapp Road between the New York State Thruway to the south and the Conrail railroad tracks to the north. The actual footprint of the landfill is currently approximately 100 acres. The landfill began operation about 1969, and is generally divided into three disticnt areas. Currently, landfill operations are conducted within an area known as P-4.

The landfill is operated by the City of Albany Department of General Services, with 24 City employees who are responsible for the day to day operations. The facility manager holds a certification from the Solid Waste Association of North America in management of Landfill Operations. In addition, the manager and 7 landfill employees have been OSHA 40 hour trained in hazardous materials. The landfill is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure proper operations. Equipment used at the site includes 3 trash compactors, 2 excavators, 2 dozers, 2 track loaders, and a trash shredder.

Solid waste is brought to the landfill by City owned and operated garbage trucks, other municipally owned trucks, as well as by trucks owned and operated by private sector waste haulers. On average, the landfill accepts approximately 1050 tons per day.

As part of the operations, the city operates a gas collection system that collects primarily methane gas that is generated within the landfill. The gas is utilized by a commercial operator to generate electricity at the landfill site. The electricity is transmitted into the local electrical grid. The gas collection system also controls any odors associated with the landfill. The city has an odor hotline number (453-8288) for people to report off-site odors.

Commercial entities wishing to utilize the landfill must complete a Landfill Permit Application. The application form should be completed and submitted to the landfill for review and approval. Those entities wishing to establish a charge account should also complete the credit sections that are part of the application package. To download a landfill permit application, please go to Customers tab at

Commercial customers that wish to dispose of wastes that are not easily recognizable as municipal solid waste must complete and submit a Waste Profile Sheet for approval. Acceptance of the material approved is subject to the approval of the City. If the material is accepted, a lot number will be assigned to the waste stream for tracking purposes. A bill of lading with the lot number will accompany each load. Acceptance of such materials is on an appointment basis only. To download a copy of the Waste Profile Sheet, please go to Customers tab at

The landfill facility is permitted to utilize Petroleum Contaminated Soil (PCS) as an alternative daily cover. Those wishing to bring PCS to the landfill must follow the PCS Acceptance Protocol. This protocol includes testing of the material prior to acceptance by the landfill. To download information and forms required for PCS disposal, please go to Customers tab at

In addition to the landfilling operations that are conducted at the site, other regional operations that take place include:

Waste Shredding — shreds waste to achieve higher compaction and results in longer landfill life

Landfill Gas Collection System for Odor Control — collects landfill gas to control odors and conveys the gas to the power generation facility.

Landfill Gas Management for Power Generation — utilizes methane (a greenhouse gas) to generate power

Leachate Collection and Storage — captures landfill derived liquids and prevents groundwater contamination

Landfill Closure — final cappping of the landfill to prevent precipitation from entering

Landfill Monitoring — testing of groundwater to ensure quality

The recently approved landfill expansion includes the construction of apporximately 10 acres of new landfill footprint adjacent to the current P-4 area and an overfill of approximately 30 acres of previously landfilled area.

The liner for the proposed expansion will consist of a modern double composite system that meets all state and federal requirements. Liner system details

Additional project documents will be added to this page as they are developed.

Solid Waste Management Plan

The City of Albany, on behalf of the Capital Region Solid Waste Management Partnership Planning Unit (formerly known as ANSWERS), prepared a Modification (May 2009) to the existing ANSWERS Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) that was approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in 1992. The existing SWMP detailed the implementation of a program of waste reduction, recycling and reuse, and disposal of residual waste in a state-of-the-art landfill facility.

While the implementation schedule and the planning period for the existing SWMP runs through the year 2013, progress on the development of the originally proposed new long-term landfill facility was significantly delayed. In addition to this delay, membership in the Planning Unit has changed with several municipalities leaving and a new municipality joining. Given these issues, the NYSDEC has requested that the Planning Unit undertake a Plan Modification pursuant to state solid waste regulations.

The SWMP Modification was prepared to re-evaluate the existing options for the Planning Unit to reduce, re-use and recycle solid waste so that disposal quantities can be minimized over the short term. In addition, the SWMP Modification presents an evaluation of short and long term alternatives to the proposed Eastern Expansion of the Rapp Road Landfill.

The final component of the SWMP Modification is the preparation of a New SWMP for the Planning Unit. Among other things, the New SWMP will identify and evaluate alternative waste management technologies, including emerging technologies which may become available to further minimize requirements for land disposal. Institutional alternatives for future administration of the Planning Unit, including issues related to expansion of the Planning Unit and flow control will also be evaluated. The City is currently undertaking the preparation of the New SWMP and it is anticipated the New SWMP will be completed and accepted by the NYSDEC in 2011.

The preparation of the New SWMP will include a number of public informational meetings where the goals and objectives of the New SWMP will be indentified and discussed, and public input will be sought. It is also anticipated that once a draft of the New SWMP is completed (along with a Generic Environmental Impact Statement) the draft will be available for public comment and be the subject of a public hearing.

A SWMP Steering Committee was appointed by Mayor Jerry Jennings to formulate a preliminary draft SWMP document. The Steering Committee held monthly meetings during 2009 to discuss relevant issues and formulate a preliminary plan.

The following documents are available for review at this time:

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