IESI Bethlehem Landfill in Lower Saucon Township announced in a news release Wednesday that it has filed an application for an expansion plan that was first discussed last July.
The Southeast Realignment major permit modification application was filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and notification of the filing was sent to township officials, the release indicated.
The Southeast Realignment would add an estimated five years to the Applebutter Road landfill’s limited lifespan, landfill officials have said.
Unlike the facility’s proposed western expansion–which would take advantage of newly-acquired property and require rezoning–the Southeast Realignment would make use of land already within the 201-acre landfill’s zoned boundaries.
“The Southeast Realignment means continued operations of our facility, which in turn will result in continued benefits to Lower Saucon residents and surrounding communities,” said Sam Donato, IESI Bethlehem Landfill District Manager, in the news release. “These continued benefits come in the form of host agreement payments, taxes, and contributions to local organizations and charities we proudly support.”
For years the landfill has been a lucrative source of income for Lower Saucon Township, in the form of host and other fees. However, without the ability to add more capacity, that multi-million-dollar revenue stream has become threatened.
Over the past year, the landfill has also been the subject of odor complaints made by nearby residents.
Township council has said it doesn’t plan to vote on a rezoning recommendation that would allow for the western expansion while councilman Glenn Kern remains absent due to medical issues. Without a fifth council member present, any vote on the recommendation could be tied.