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Chautauqua County landfill facility recovers from weekend fire


Chautauqua County is getting its waste-to-energy plant at the county landfill back to full operation after a weekend fire slowed operations at the facility.

The county runs a system which burns off gas from the landfill in the Town of Ellery to generate electricity, just under ten megawatts. Burning the gas for power eliminates almost all of the odor from the decaying garbage in the 790-acre landfill.

Acting County Executive Stephen Abdella explained how the system works.

"Rather than simply flaring off the gas and having that exhaust emitted into the atmosphere, this way, at least, it's burned efficiently and power is generated from it. It's considered a renewable source," Abdella said.

The fire emerged from the engine room where six engines power the operation.

"No one was injured but it did cause the system to shut down automatically," Abdella said. "It's being investigated at this point. It's believed to have been caused by an oil leak and no one was there at the time."

The county's insurance company has visited the site and will soon determine how much of the damage will be covered.