Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Clean Tech Center Partners with ESF on Radiation Curing Training!

SUNY-ESF Leads National Initiative to Provide Workforce Training in Radiation Curing

Employees at Central New York businesses that use or plan to use radiation curing in their manufacturing processes are eligible for free online courses

A new online program offered through the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) will provide specialized training to address workforce shortages in the field of radiation curing, also known as energy curing. Radiation curing is a manufacturing technique that uses ultraviolet light (UV) or electron beam (EB) processing to cure coatings, inks, adhesives, composites and other materials.

The workforce shortage in radiation curing exists despite the fact that nearly 1,000 chemists with bachelor’s degrees were seeking employment in New York state, according to recent New York State Department of Labor statistics. The Radiation Curing Program (RCP) at SUNY-ESF aims to address this disconnect by providing specific job skills for individuals seeking careers in related fields, practicing industry professionals, upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, and recent graduates.

The RCP is a response to nationwide demand for training and education related to radiation curing. In Central New York, the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO) Clean Tech Center is funding an incentive program to enable employees at Central New York businesses that use radiation or energy curing in their manufacturing processes to take one or more RCP courses at no cost.
The program comprises three online courses and an Advanced Certificate, with curriculum jointly developed by a team of academic and experienced industry practitioners to reflect current and emerging applications. It is a collaboration among SUNY-ESF; RadTech International North America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of ultraviolet and electron beam technologies; CenterState CEO; the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY); and other organizations. It is supported in part by a U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant.
The online approach is designed to be user-friendly, flexible and convenient. Support and facilitation are provided by an experienced team of instructors and support staff. Central New York participants will have additional opportunities for course-related demonstrations and site visits to the UV/EB Process Curing Systems Technology Center on the SUNY-ESF campus and the laboratory at Rapid Cure Technologies, a formulator and manufacturer of environmentally friendly rapid-cure chemistries and processes based in Syracuse.
UV and EB curing refer to the special ways in which coatings, inks, adhesives, composites and other materials may be cured as an alternative to traditional energy-intensive methods that create harmful emissions. In short, these processes entail using ultraviolet energy from a UV lamp or focused beams of electrons to instantly cure or cross-link specially formulated chemistries, using less energy and costing less than conventional methods.
Energy-cured applications include everyday products like cereal boxes, CDs and DVDs, magazines, credit cards, cell phones, contact lenses and keyboards, along with an increasing range of consumer and high-tech products. The advantages of UV and EB are well-documented, particularly when used with manufactured products that require fast processing or on substrates that are sensitive to heat. In addition, UV and EB are considered environmentally responsible since most or all of the solvents in traditional processes may be eliminated. Radiation curing is a sector of the sustainable materials and manufacturing industry that has a market size in North America of $1 billion and growing.

The three RCP course offerings in Spring 2014 are:
  •  Introduction to Polymer Coatings (February 3 - April 18)
  • Radiation Curing of Polymer Technologies (February 17 - May 2)
  • Radiation Curing Equipment, Instrumentation and Safety (February 17 - April 18)

  • Registration is now open. For more information, visit or contact Chuck Spuches, associate provost for Outreach at SUNY-ESF, at 315-470-6810.

    Robert M. Simpson, President and Chief Executive Officer, CenterState CEO; Dr. Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., president, SUNY-ESF; Governor Andrew M. Cuomo; and Dan Montoney, Chief Technology Officer/Owner, Rapid Cure Technologies, view a radiation curing application of a UV coating system.

Monday, September 9, 2013

DEC Budget Proposals, Albany, NY:

Green groups worry about dwindling DEC budget

Listen to this story
The Environmental Committee chairs in the legislature have proposed a $5 billion dollar environmental bond act, to be voted on in November 2014.

But, at an Assembly hearing on the state's environmental budget, advocates say they're more worried about dwindling staff at the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Assembly Environmental Committee Chair Robert Sweeney is sponsoring a bill to create a $5 billion dollar environmental bond act to promote clean water, clean air and to preserve public land. 
The bill, which is also sponsored by the Senate’s Environmental Committee Chair, is in the early stages of discussion.

But at a hearing on the budget for the Cuomo Administration’s Department of Environmental Conservation, known as the DEC, advocates expressed more concerns over the 30% reductions in staffing over the past several years.

Paul Gallay, with Hudson Riverkeeper, says the agency, which has suffered budget cuts for over a decade, now has 3000 employees, compared to a high of 4200 in the early 2000’s.  And he says some essential tasks are not getting done, like the proper monitoring of water quality permits by industries that border New York’s lakes and rivers.

 “We’re flying blind with regard to the bad actors,” Gallay said. 

Gallay says he worked for the DEC in the 1990’s, and he says even with full staffing, many worked overtime to keep up with the demands. “I call on you and I challenge you  to investigate what the impacts have been,” Gallay told the committee. 

Others praised the environmental agency for creating a pesticide registry, but lamented that there were not enough people to implement it.   

Adrienne Esposito, with Citizens Campaign for the Environment, is from the south shore of Long Island and lived through Superstorm Sandy last year. She says DEC employees were taken from their regular tasks and assigned to work on storm recovery, which she greatly appreciates. But she says in a time of climate change, it’s important to have enough people to respond to weather disasters without disrupting other important tasks.

 “I feel like sometimes the environmental agency is looked upon as this luxury item,” Esposito said. “That we can cut to the bone or do away with in in hard times. And that is a falsehood. 
Esposito, speaking afterward, says she does back a bond act, but says it has to be done right, with a realistic number of workers to carry it out. “We’re doing less with less,” she said. “We can’t substitute a marketing phrase for real meaningful change here in New York.”

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens did not testify, he sent a deputy commissioner instead.  

Assemblyman Sweeney devoted more questions to Deputy Commissioner Anne Reynolds on hydrofracking, than on the proposed bond act. “Is there a time frame for some decision on fracking?”

Sweeney asked. Reynolds’ answer, like those of her boss and others in the Cuomo Administration, was non-committal. “There isn’t a time frame at this point,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds says the agency is still working to answer 100,000 public comments submitted last January, and still waiting for Governor Cuomo’s Health Commissioner to finish a review that was begun nearly a year ago.  

Esposito, with Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says while her group wants careful consideration of fracking, it’s taking attention away from other issues, like coping with climate change.

Siena poll- Hydrofracking still a dead heat in New York:


Hyrdofracking supporters march after a rally last October in Albany. A new Siena College poll shows New Yorkers evenly divided on whether the state should allow hydrofracking. (Lori Van Buren | Albany Times Union, via AP)
Glenn Coin | By Glenn Coin | 
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on August 12, 2013 at 9:52 AM, updated August 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM
New Yorkers are still evenly split on whether hydrofracking should be allowed in the state, according to the most recent Siena Research Institute poll.
A poll released today shows 41 percent support hydrofracking and 42 oppose it. That's a statistical dead heat in a poll with a 3.4 percent margin of error.
The word is getting out on hydrofracking, though: Just 12 percent of respondents in this poll said they didn't have enough information or an opinion, the lowest in the last year.
Opposition is strongest Upstate, where hydrofracking, if allowed, would likely take place. Upstate residents were opposed to hydrofracking 47 to 42 percent. New York City residents were likewise opposed: 42 to 37 percent. The only region that supported hydrofracking was the New York City suburbs, by a margin of 47 to 37 percent.
The state has had a fracking moratorium in place for five years, and the Department of Environmental Conservation has not yet completed a full environmental report. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said said in May he will decide before the 2014 elections whether hydrofracking will go forward in New York.
Today, Cuomo said on "The Capitol Pressroom" radio show that the DEC was still awaiting a report from the Department of Health. Health Commissioner Nirav Shah said in February that report would be done "in a few weeks."
According to the Siena poll, Democrats oppose fracking by a margin of 48 to 32 percent.
Republicans continue to favor it by a margin of 55 to 31 percent.
Income, however, doesn't seem to make any difference. People who make under $50,000 opposed fracking by 42 to 40 percent; those making over $100,000 supported it 42 to 40 percent. Again, those are both statistical ties.
Contact Glenn Coin at or 315-470-3251.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Green Symposium in NY, September 19:

Garrison Institute Climate, Buildings, and Behavior Symposium

Bright Power CEO Jeff Perlman will participate in a panel discussion on Creating an Energy Action Plan. Accompanying him will be Michael Catalano of the Jonathan Rose Companies.

Garrison Institute Climate, Buildings, and Behavior Symposium (September 19, 2013)

From September 18th to September 20th, the Garrison Institute will host its fifth annual Climate, Buildings and Behavior (CBB) Symposium. This high-level meeting will convene real estate professionals including both for-profit and not-for-profit firms, building industry experts, and researchers and experts in behavior change to explore the science and practice behind successful approaches for enhancing sustainable practices, reducing energy consumption, and significantly lowering the cost of building operations in multi-family residential and commercial buildings.  CBB’s innovative approach is focused on the human dimensions of resource optimization with special attention on engaging building occupants and shifting away from wasteful energy practices.

Friday, September 6, 2013

NYSP2I continues pollution prevention efforts at the local level:

Community Grants Program accepting funding applications


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The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute is now accepting applications for its 2013-2014 Community Grants Program.
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) provides nonprofit organizations and local governments financial and technical assistance for projects that promote and implement pollution prevention practices at the community level. By increasing awareness of these efforts, NYSP2I aims to improve the health, environmental quality and economic vitality of New York state.
“Our mission is to provide a statewide, comprehensive program of sustainable technologies and research, build industrial-community partnerships focused on cleaner production and provide education and outreach aimed at making New York state more sustainable,” says Anahita Williamson, director of NYSP2I. “Through the Community Grants Program, we are able to connect with communities in New York state and provide much needed financial and technical support for initiatives and programs at a grassroots level.”
To date, NYSP2I has supported 41 projects throughout New York state with grants totaling over $540,000. Past projects include education programs on pollution prevention and conservation for middle and high school students, homeowner education encouraging environmentally conscious practices and rainwater harvesting and education regarding deconstruction and green building renovations.
The 2013-2014 Community Grants Program award winners will be announced in late November. For more information about the program and to download the grant application forms, go to Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4.
About NYSP2I
NYSP2I, located at Rochester Institute of Technology, was created in 2008 by the state and is supported by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The institute provides statewide, comprehensive and integrated programming in technology research, development and diffusion, training and education aimed at making New York state more sustainable for workers, the public, the environment and the economy. Additional partners include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, State University of New York at Buffalo and New York’s 10 Regional Technology Development Centers.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Saving Lake George: Can Sensors And Big Data Protect $1 Billion In Tourism?

IBM Research Scientist Harry Kolar (right), Sandra Nierzwicki-Bauer of the RPI Darrin Fresh Water Institute (center) and Eric Siy from The FUND to Save Lake George scout locations for new sensors. Credit: Erin Reid Coker/Feature Photo Service for IBM
As I write this update, campers and wildlife enthusiasts 185 miles to my north are converging on New York State’s crystal-clear, 32-mile-long Lake George for one of the last hurrahs of summer.
While they’re busy setting up their tents on the interior islands, they may run across scientists being dispatched there over the next three years as part of an ambitious, multi-million-dollar environmental monitoring plan that will use sensors and Big Data analytics to study the lake’s complicated ecosystem.
This isn’t just some tree-hugger-inspired boondoogle. Surrounded almost entirely by forests (46 percent of which are state preserves), Lake George generates a whopping $1 billion in tourism annually. It may seem invulnerable, but the long-term health of its natural ecosystem is in question, which could pose a threat to that revenue.
That’s because over the past 30 years, road salt applied to the flanking roads during the harsh winter months as well as storm-water runoff have contributed to a threefold increase in salt levels in the lake. Both of these factors are also encouraging chlorophyll growth, which threatens water clarity, and therefore tourism.
Enter the Jefferson Project at Lake George (named for the third president of the United States, who was a fan), spearheaded by IBM‘s Smarter Water experts, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the non-profit FUND for Lake George.
Their idea is to use a combination of data analytics, three-dimensional (3-D) computer models, and 30 years worth of historical data to improve scientific understanding of how stuff is circulated around the lake. Eventually, that information could be coupled with real-time data feeds, such as weather forecasts, to predict the possible impact of certain events on the lake, and maybe even to take action to prevent particularly negative outcomes.
“Lake George has a lot to teach us, if we look closely,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “By expanding Rensselaer’s Darrin Fresh Water Institute with this remarkable new cyberphysical platform of data from sensors and other sources, and with advanced analytics, high-performance computing and web science, we are taking an important step to protect the timeless beauty of Lake George, and we are creating a global model for environmental research and protection of water resources.”
This isn’t the first big project using sensors and IBM Big Data technology to develop an environmental protection plan.
Several years ago, IBM teamed up with Marine Institute Ireland to monitor wave conditions, marine life and pollution in and around Galway Bay. Drivers of that research included concerns over tourism and the local fishing industry. But the data was also used to assess whether or not the bay is a viable location for wave-generated electricity.
There’s also a sensor-enabled monitoring network installed up and down the 315-mile long Hudson River. The River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON) is tracking temperatures, salinity, dissolved oxygen and pollution metrics; it is also being used for mapping fish populations. The first-of-its-kind effort is a collaboration between IBM and The Beacon Institute.
“From this data, we can build scientific models to understand how changes in chemistry and biology affect the fish and the river, and by extension, the larger scale ecology,” said Arthur Sanderson, professor of electrical, computer and system engineering at Rensselaer and senior science advisor for The Beacon Institute, referring to the Hudson River network.
Personally, I’m still not sure I would eat a fish caught in the Hudson, at least down near New York City. But real-time monitoring systems like REON and the one being installed in Lake George will certainly help communities and businesses make much more informed decisions about how to use water resources around the world.
-Heather Clancy, Contributing writer for Forbes

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Can towns ban hydrofracking? New York's highest court will decide:

Hydrofracking protesters

Hydrofracking protesters

Central New York residents line up outside the main entrance to the New York State Fair last year to protest hydrofracking. The state's highest court said today it will decide whether towns can ban hydrofracking and other gas drilling. (Lauren Long |

Glenn Coin | By Glenn Coin | 
Follow on Twitter 
on August 29, 2013 at 9:54 AM, updated August 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM
New York's highest court will decide whether towns can ban hydrofracking and other gas drilling.
The Court of Appeals announced today it will hear arguments in two cases in which towns banned gas drilling through zoning.
The Tompkins County town of Dryden and the Otsego County town of Middlefield were taken to court after they enacted bans. Gas companies and landowners argued that drilling can be regulated only by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The towns argued that they can ban certain industrial activity, including gas drilling, under zoning laws.
Dryden and Middlefield have won the first two rounds, at the state Supreme Court and mid-level appeals courts.
The decision to hear the case was lauded by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, which favors hydrofracking.
"We are hopeful that the Court of Appeals will protect the rights of landowners and allow New York to realize the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas while allowing our nation to maintain its course towards energy independence," read a statement by Scott Kurkoski, a Binghamton attorney who works with the coalition.
A decision by the Court of Appeals could help decide where hydrofracking happens in New York if it is approved. The state has had a moratorium on hydrofracking in place for five years, and the state DEC and Department of Health continue to study the potential effects.
The court today also allowed a variety of groups who are not parties to the lawsuits to submit briefs supporting their positions. Those groups include the New York Farm Bureau, the Associated General Contractors of New York, and the American Petroleum Institute,
Contact Glenn Coin at or 315-470-3251.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Charge your electric car at the New York State Fair:

Teri Weaver | By Teri Weaver | 

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on August 27, 2013 at 12:19 PM, updated August 27, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Syracuse, N.Y. -- You can charge up your electric and plug-in hybrid cars at the New York State Fair for free, according to Fleet Management Company of Canandaigua.
The charging stations at the fairgrounds in Geddes are in the Gate 10 parking lot, which can be accessed from Gates 6 or 7, according to the company.
Other charging stations in the Syracuse area include Destiny USA, along East Washington Street downtown, and the Chili's restaurant in DeWitt.
Contact Teri Weaver at:, 315-470-2274 or on Twitter at @TeriKWeaver.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Marcellus Shale:

Marcellus Shale has become nation's most productive gas field thanks to hydrofracking

The Associated Press By The Associated Press 
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on August 15, 2013 at 10:07 AM
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Hydrofracking in Pennsylvania and West Virginia has made the Marcellus Shale the nation's most productive gas field, according to a new report.
Bentek, a Colorado company that analyzes energy trends, said 2013 production in Pennsylvania and West Virginia is up about 50 percent compared with last year. Figures for the pipelines that take gas out of the Marcellus show that in the first six months of the year, Pennsylvania produced about 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, with projections for a year-end total of about 3.2 trillion cubic feet.
That yearly number translates into the equivalent of about 550 million barrels of oil.
The official mid-2013 production figures for Pennsylvania and West Virginia haven't been released yet by those states, but Bentek's figures are considered very reliable by government and industry sources.
Hydrofracking in shale has been on hold in New York for five years while the state Department of Environmental Conservation continues to study the environmental and health effects.
Marcellus production this year "has definitely outpaced our expectations," said Diana Oswald, a Bentek energy analyst, and it's changing long-established national energy trends.
Marcellus gas is "actually starting to displace" production from the Gulf of Mexico in places, Oswald said. For example, when serious shale drilling started in Pennsylvania in 2008, output barely registered on a national level, and most of the Northeast relied on natural gas that was being pumped from the Gulf of Mexico or from Canada through a network of pipelines.
Tom Murphy, a director of the Penn State University Marcellus Center for Research & Outreach, said that while the number of drilling rigs operating in Pennsylvania has declined, companies have learned to drill more efficiently, "so fewer rigs are drilling more wells."
The Marcellus Shale is a gas-rich formation deep underground that extends across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Ohio and Maryland, but most of the production is in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Production from West Virginia is also on track to increase by about 50 percent this year, according to Bentek. Ohio shale gas production is in its beginning stages but is expected to grow substantially in 2014 and 2015.
In 2011 and 2012, there was a highly publicized debate over the potential of the Marcellus Shale, with some contending the industry had exaggerated the numbers. But the actual production figures have mostly put that debate to rest.
Murphy believes there is still a backlog of about 2,000 wells that have already been drilled but aren't hooked up to pipelines for production yet. Others estimate the backlog at 1,000 wells, but in either case, it's adding to the production surge.
Kathryn Klaber, CEO of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said in an email that the industry group expects "that activity will remain robust" since the necessary infrastructure is increasingly in place to process and move natural gas to market.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Trash talk:

Read OCRRA Q&A transcript on burning Cortland County garbage

OCRRA Q&A on Cortland trash.JPG
OCRRA Q&A on Cortland trash.JPG
Amy Miller, OCRRA engineer, and Business Manager Warren Simpson answer questions from readers today about a proposal to burn Cortland County trash in OCRRA's incinerator in Jamesville. (Glenn Coin |
Glenn Coin | By Glenn Coin | 
Follow on Twitter 
on August 19, 2013 at 1:14 PM
Syracuse, NY - Three top officials from the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency answered questions today at about a proposal to swamp Cortland County trash for incinerator ash.
The tentative agreement was outlined last week by officials from Onondaga and Cortland counties. Under the plan, OCRRA would burn Cortland County's trash and Cortland County would bury OCRRA's incinerator ash.
They said for the first time that the earliest the deal could go into effect is May 2015, when OCRRA's current contract to haul ash to High Acres landfill near Fairport expires.
A transcript of today's Q&A is available in the box below.
Answering questions were three top OCRRA officials: Mark Donnelly, executive director and former board member; Amy Miller, agency engineer; and Warren Simpson, business manager.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

U.S. Green Building Council, NY Upstate Chapter:

U.S. Green Building Council to host presentation Thursday on funding for green building and renewable energy projects

Rick Moriarty | By Rick Moriarty | 
on August 20, 2013 at 4:19 PM
Syracuse, NY -- The U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter will host a presentation Thursday on state and federal programs that assist with the funding of green building and renewable energy projects.
The presentation by Brian Pincelli of the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Planning and Development Board's office at 126 N. Salina St. in Syracuse.
Pincelli will review programs available at the state and federal level to advance and support green building practices and renewable energy deployment.
The presentation is open to the public, but advance registration is required at Admission is free for students, $5 for Green Building Council members and $10 for the general public. Call Charlie Bertuch at (315) 415-5364 for more information.
Contact Rick Moriarty at or (315) 470-3148. Follow him on Twitter @RickMoriartyCNY and on Facebook at rick.moriarty.92.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Green Materials and Services Expo, Ulster NY:

 Thursday, October 17, 2013
5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Set up - 4:00 pm
Senate Gymnasium
SUNY Ulster County Community College
Stone Ridge Campus
Ulster, NY 12484
 Hudson Valley
Food will be provided
The Hudson Valley Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council NY Upstate Chapter is hosting a 'Green Materials and Services Expo' on Thursday October 17, 2013.  The event is an excellent way for your company to specifically reach your preferred customer market.  Last year we had 23 exhibitors and a lot of fun.  This year we expect more.  Meet your peers.  Learn from each other and collaborate to grow!
Register via the link to the left. Fee for exhibitors $250. Fee for sponsoring exhibitor $500. Fee for gold sponsor $1000. You will need to log-in with your email address and create a profile if you have not already done so.  You must use the email address associated with your Chapter membership account in order to receive the member's rate for registration.  Free for those who pre-register! $5 at the door. 
Thanks to our sustaining sponsors: 

To Sponsor A Hudson Valley Branch Event, Contact
Rick Alfandre

Friday, August 16, 2013

Green Materials and Services Expo, Rochester NY:

 Thursday, October 10, 2013
3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Set up - 2:30 pm
HSBC Plaza
 100 Chestnut Street
Rochester, NY 
  Food will be provided

The Genesee Region of the US Green Building Council NY Upstate Chapter is hosting a 'Green Materials and Services Expo' on Thursday, October 10, 2013.  The event is an excellent way for your company to specifically reach your preferred customer market.  Last year this event was held in the Hudson Valley, and featured 23 exhibitors and a lot of fun! Meet your peers.  Learn from each other and collaborate to grow!

Register via the link to the left. Fee for exhibitors $250. Fee for sponsoring exhibitor $500. Fee for gold sponsor $1000. You will need to log-in with your email address and create a profile if you have not already done so.  You must use the email address associated with your Chapter membership account in order to receive the member's rate for registration.  Free for those who pre-register! $5 at the door. 

Thanks to our sponsor partner:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cortland County, OCRRA might swap trash for ash:

Glenn Coin | By Glenn Coin | 

Follow on Twitter 
on August 14, 2013 at 2:38 PM, updated August 14, 2013 at 4:28 PM
Syracuse, N.Y. -- Onondaga and Cortland counties hope to cut a deal this year to burn Cortland garbage in Jamesville in exchange for dumping incinerator ash in Cortland County's landfill.
Officials from both counties and the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency said today a deal will boost Cortland County's money-losing landfill and also generate $500,000 more in electricity sales at the OCRRA incinerator in Jamesville.
The deal would also strengthen OCRRA's hand in its negotiations with Covanta Energy, which runs the incinerator and has the option of buying it in 2015. Covanta would have to take on $40 million in bond debt that would have to be repaid through incinerator revenues.
"We're going to start negotiating with Cortland County in a way that is going to satisfy a lot of competing interests," Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said at a news conference.
The agreement would require approval of both county legislatures. Onondaga County in 1992 banned trash from other counties, but could make an exception for Cortland County, officials said. Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon said there would be public hearings before any vote.
Details of the arrangement are still being negotiated, but officials today outlined a general idea of how it would work:
-- OCRRA would truck all the ash from the Rock Cut Road incinerator -- about 86,000 tons a year -- to Cortland County's landfill.
-- Trucks that brought that ash would then haul to the incinerator 23,000 tons of Cortland County's trash.
-- OCRRA would pay Cortland county about $1 million a year to take the ash, which would more than make up the $400,000 annual loss at the Cortland landfill.
-- OCRRA would save money by shipping the ash 40 miles to Cortland County instead of 80 miles to High Acres landfill near Rochester, where the ash goes now.
Increasing recycling rates and a drop in trash due to the economic recession have caused the incinerator to run at less than its capacity, officials said. The incinerator burns about 320,000 tons of trash a year, said OCRRA Executive Director Mark Donnelly, but could burn 361,000 tons.
Falling electricity rates have also cut into the plant's revenues: OCRRA took in $7.4 million in 2011 from electrical sales, but just $6.1 million last year. OCRRA has budgeted $6.5 million for this year.
The incinerator lost nearly $6 million from 2009 to 2011, the most recent data on the agency's web site.
A deal with Cortland County would put OCRRA in a better position when negotiating with 
Covanta, Mahoney said.
"It solves a problem for OCRRA and therefore for Onondaga County in how do you fill that capacity when entering negotiations," she said. "We want to enter negotiations with a maximized facility."
The Onondaga County Legislature in 1992 adopted a law banning trash from outside the county. Mahoney said people were fearful then about imported trash, but they shouldn't fear garbage coming from next-door Cortland County.
"Onondaga County and Cortland County trash are the same thing," Mahoney said. "It's not wise to let fear stand in the way of maximizing a world-class facility."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

13th Annual SyracuseCoE Symposium:

Urban Reinvention and Resilience
October 21st-22nd, 2013
Oncenter Complex, Syracuse, NY

Featured Speakers
Partner Day
Integrated Heat Recovery Workshops
Student Poster Competition

The 13th annual SyracuseCoE Symposium: Urban Reinvention and Resilience will feature the latest results from collaborators from across the nation and beyond. This year's Symposium will feature sessions and workshops designed to engage a wide audience, including industry practitioners, state and local officials, and university faculty and students.

SyracuseCoE is New York State's Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Innovations.

Session tracks will focus on:
     •   Advanced building technologies   
     •   Clean and renewable energy
     •   Healthy buildings
     •   Indoor environmental quality   
     •   Sustainable communities
     •   Sustainable materials management
     •   Water resources

Conference Highlights

Featured Speakers

Nancy Grimm
-  Director of the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term
   Ecological Research (LTER) Program
-  Lead author for the U.S. National Climate Assessment
-  Senior Sustainability Scientist at Global Institute of Sustainability

Stay tuned as we reveal our other keynote and featured speakers!

Partner Day - Monday, October 21st
Join us for a full day of programming on Monday, October 21st dedicated to SyracuseCoE Partners as part of this year's SyracuseCoE Symposium!
Topics include Industrial Heat Recovery Technologies, Energy Saving Opportunities, and a "Pitch Fest" panel on Licensing University Intellectual Property.
Partner Day Schedule
Register for Partner Day.
Registration Information: Registration for Partner Day activities is complimentary for SyracuseCoE Partner Program firms and institutions (including Faculty and Staff) and registration for the Symposium reception and following day's programming is discounted by 50 percent. 
For more information about joining the Partner Program, visit

Please visit our Partner Day Page for more details.

Integrated Heat Recovery Workshops
Join us for several discussions of the energy and business opportunities available from capturing waste heat and cooling from industrial processes as part of an integrated approach to energy planning and management. Peter Garforth of Garforth International, LLC, will offer three workshops during the Symposium exploring – both from an operational and structured view – the opportunities and challenges related to structured, integrated approaches to thermal energy management in industrial facilities and in municipal settings.
The target audience for these workshops includes industry division energy managers, thermal energy product manufacturers and suppliers, municipal leaders and other decision makers considering district energy systems.
Workshop #1 – “Industrial Heat Recovery” 
Monday, October 21st, 8:30 am – noon
Workshop #2 – “Community Approaches to Industrial Energy Management”
Tuesday, October 22st, 11:00a - noon
Cost: Included in SyracuseCoE Symposium registration fee.
Workshop #3 – “City of Guelph – Community Energy Initiative” 
Tuesday, October 22st, 1:30 – 2:30p
Cost: Included in SyracuseCoE Symposium registration fee.

Student Poster Competition 

Cash prizes are available! $500 will be awarded for first prize.

Undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students interested in presenting recent research projects are encouraged to enter the Student Poster Competition, taking place Monday, October 21st at the Symposium. Judging starts at 4:00pm, followed by networking and awards at the 5:00pm Monday reception. Poster viewing continues on Tuesday through 3:00pm.

Abstracts are welcome on research in SyracuseCoE focus areas:
• Advanced building technologies
• Clean and renewable energy
• Healthy buildings
• Indoor environmental quality
• Sustainable communities
• Sustainable materials management
• Water resources

To enter, submit name, school, abstract, and degree in progress to Gabi Levinson

The deadline for abstract submissions is September 30th.

Projects entered into the Student Poster Competition will be judged based in a rubric rating system.


Early-Bird Rate - $120 (Available through September 20th, 2013)
Partner Program Institution Student - Complimentary Registration 
Non-Partner Program Institution Student - $40
Registration includes access to the Symposium program on Tuesday as well as the evening networking reception on Monday night. 

Register Now

Symposium Development Committee

  • Cliff Davidson, Syracuse University (Chair)
  • Stephen Bird, Clarkson University
  • David Chandler, Syracuse University
  • Sharon Dotger, Syracuse University
  • Patrick Jackson, Corning
  • Laura Lautz, Syracuse University
  • Valerie Luzadis, SUNY ESF
  • Myron Mitchell, SUNY ESF
  • Usha Satish, SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Chuck Spuches, SUNY ESF
  • Pete Wilcoxen, Syracuse, University
  • Jensen Zhang, Syracuse University

Sponsorship Information

SyracuseCoE invites Symposium sponsorships at various levels of support.

For additional program information, contact Gabi Levinson at
While we are no longer accepting Oral Presentation Abstracts, we are accepting Student Poster Competition Abstracts until September 30th. Please submit proposals to Gabi Levinson at
For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Tammy Rosanio