Mill Seat Landfill

Mill Seat Landfill Facts and Figures

Permit to Operate: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Effective: July 19, 2011 through July 31, 2021
Permitted Footprint Area: 95 acres of a 615-acre site

Facts of Interest

  • Opening Date: May 13, 1993
  • Expected Life Span: 2018
  • Approved Design Capacity: 1,945 tons-per-day
  • Total Air Space (95 Acres): 12.6 million cubic yards (Design); 14.5 million cubic yards (Modified)
  • Maximum Depth of Waste at Time of Completion: 190 feet
  • Leachate Storage: 1.5 to 2 million-gallon capacity in glass-lined, above ground storage tanks
  • Construction Costs: $35 million for Stages I and II (not including design, testing, land acquisition and supervision).

Environmental Monitoring

Quarterly environmental monitoring and testing is performed under the direction of the Monroe County Department of Health. This work includes the monitoring and testing of 42 groundwater monitoring wells, six off-site homeowner wells and 10 surface water sites (2 on-site storm water retention ponds and eight sites in adjacent wetlands and Hotel Creek), leachate, air quality and noise.

Host Community Benefits

  • Annual Payments Made During Operation Years:
  • Town of Riga—minimum $450,000
  • Bergen Fire Department (Maintenance and Capital Reserve Fee)
  • Byron-Bergen Central School District to support environmental education efforts.
  • Property Value Protection Program provided for homes located in the landfill’s immediate vicinity as of its construction permit date.
  • Citizen Advisory Board (CAB) was formed to serve as liaison between the County of Monroe and the local community. The CAB meets at the landfill a minimum of four times-per-year to receive operational updates and discuss related issues.
  • Water service provided to homes near the landfill plus connection to the Bergen Water System.

Learn more about the Mill Seat Landfill.

Mill Seat Landfill Gas Energy Facility

Monroe County has partnered with Waste Management to operate the Mill Seat Landfill and produce and capture a renewable energy resource that will further move Monroe County towards greater energy independence. Mill Seat's Landfill Gas Energy Facility was opened in 2007 as a public/private partnership producing 6.4 megawatts of power by turning waste into watts through the utilization of methane gas generated from the landill.

The 10,000 sq. ft., $9.5 million dollar facility houses eight Caterpillar 3516 engines. These engines can generate nearly 6.4 megawatts of energy - enough to power approximately 6,000 homes.

Energy is produced at Mill Seat following the decomposition of organic waste material located within the landfill. A unique facet of this project is the introduction of biosolids (sewage sludge) from the county’s two wastewater treatment plants to the landfill’s solid waste. The decomposition of this mixture enhances the production of methane gas, which is extracted and transported to the landfill gas energy facility through a series of wells and pipes. The gas is de-watered, filtered and pressurized at the facility, and is then piped to the generators, where the fuel turns the engines to produce electricity. Biosolids methane enhancement is achieved adding additional moisture and organics to the dry garbage. This process allowed Monroe County to end the costly and emission-producing practice of biosolids incineration--another environmental win.

Once the energy is produced at the landfill, it is released via transmission line into the New York power pool for redistribution. Utility companies then have the option to purchase this “green energy” from Mill Seat.

Proposed Mill Seat Landfill Expansion

Monroe County is seeking a Permit Modification from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to construct and operate a landfill expansion and support features. The Mill Seat Landfill is operated by Waste Management of New York, LLC (WMNY).

The current permitted Mill Seat Landfill and associated operations occupy 435 acres owned by the County, which includes the double composite lined Landfill Footprint and ancillary facilities (roads, buildings, soil borrow areas, stormwater ponds, etc.). The current permitted Landfill Footprint occupies 98.6 acres and is estimated to reach capacity in 2018.

A total of 977 acres of contiguous parcels are owned by the County and WMNY. The Proposed Mill Seat Landfill Footprint Expansion is anticipated to be up to 118 acres.

The environmental review and permitting process will occur over the next 18 to 24 months. A public scoping session was held on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Riga Town Hall (6460 East Buffalo Road, Churchville, NY 14428) to receive comments from the public for inclusion in the environmental review. Prior to the scoping session, County and WMNY representatives were available to informally answer questions pertaining to the Proposed Mill Seat Landfill Expansion. Written comments on the draft scope were accepted until 5 p.m. on May 28, 2013. Questions about this process may be mailed to Russell P. Rutkowski, P.E., Monroe County Department of Environmental Services, 50 W. Main Street - Suite 7100, Rochester, NY 14614-1228 or emailed to Detailed documents pertaining to the scoping meeting are available for public review at the town hall. These documents are also available below:

MSL Expansion Environmental Review Process

MSL Environmental Assessment Form

MSL Draft Scoping Document

MSL Positive Declaration

MSL Final Scoping Document


MSL Proposed Expansion

MSL Soil Borrow Areas

MSL Property Protection Plan

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