The Fulton County Sanitary Landfill is located in the Town of Johnstown, and is situated on 500 acres of land, with 25 acres of active landfill with a 13.5 acre expansion presently under construction. The landfill consists of an 11 acre first cell, a 4-acre second cell and a 10-acre third cell. A total of 105 acres is available for actual landfill.


Ground breaking occurred on April 4, 1988, with the majority of construction completed by December 21, 1988. Total construction cost was approximately $10 million, which included the initial 11-acre lined facility, construction of an administration building, heavy equipment purchases and two leachate tanks.


Operations officially began on June 8, 1989. A second cell of four acres was built at a cost of $2 million. This cell became operational on December 21, 1992. The third, 10-acre cell became operational in November of 1995 and cost $5 million. 

Construction began in spring 2004 for the 13.5-acre expansion.  The engineering for this project also included design work for:


  • Modifications to existing pump stations

  • Updating monitoring systems and adding Supervisory Control and Data   Acquisition

  • Modification to Scalehouse

  • Leachate & water line feasibility studies


Cost saving measures incorporated in the most recent design include:


  • A 5-foot total liner system using new technology, saving 18 inches of landfill space for additional revenue in the future

  • Refurbishing of scalehouse in lieu of dual scales and updating the facility

  • DSW removed cover soils from future cell areas to reduce overall costs

  • Tire chips were conceptually approved for design and will result in substantial savings for the construction project


In 2003 the Department of Solid Waste received nearly 6,500 tons of tire chips in preparation for the expansion project. Arrangements were made to receive these tire chips at no cost, saving the landfill the potential cost of upwards of $15/ton for this product.  Approximately 12,000 tons will be used for an estimated savings of $180,000. This is in lieu of washed stone products called for in earlier designs.


Other Past Design Features Include:

  • Capacity for 2.5 million gallons of leachate storage with containment system that is a 250’ by 150’ concrete tank with a layer of 60 mil HDPE underneath

  • Leachate piping – Collected at landfill base, pumped through a force main to the tanks. A "pipe in a pipe" system is used

  • Monitoring wells – Approximately 22 monitoring and/or residential wells around the perimeter are tested three times per year




  • Annual operating budget of approximately $4.2 million. Costs offset by user fees. Landfill use restricted to large trucks  only

  • Current tipping fees at $46/ton industrial, $30/ton municipal and $50 to $75/ton out of county.

  • Fixed assets of over $4.3 million.

  • Approximately $50,000 spent annually for waste sampling and water quality analysis.

  • Staff of 36 full time and 14 part time to carry out operations of landfill, recycling programs and seven transfer stations situated throughout county. 

The following programs have been added since inception of the Solid Waste Department:


  • Composting

  • Tire, waste oil & vehicle battery recycling

  • Curbside recycling to 85% of residents (Remaining 15% provided with drop off recycling)

  • Household hazardous waste day

  • Latex Paint Exchange program

  • Demolition Team

  • 13,000 square foot Recycling Facility constructed in 1990 with a 2,600 sq. ft. addition in 2001

  • Over $1 million in recycling and equipment grants received and administered since 1989


NYSDEC requires submission of annual reports for landfill operations, transfer stations, recycling, and financial assurance.

Facility site life calculated at 80 years with over 70 years remaining at incoming tonnage.




  • 119 million gallons of leachate has been collected and hauled since 1989

  • Leachate pretreatment system installed in 1997 at a cost of $210,000

  • Landfill gas collection system installed in 1997 at a cost of $419,000 with alternatives currently being pursued

  • Out of county contracts provide 11,000 tons of sludge annually

  • On average, 83,000 tons is accepted annually, for a total since 1989 of 1,177,359 tons at the end of 2003

  • Safety courses are required of staff, along with annual landfill operator training courses

  • Over 304 tons equaling over 76,000 gallons of used motor oil has been collected and utilized to heat facility in five used motor oil furnaces throughout the facility




Fulton County has been fortunate in pursuit of grants to bolster its programs.  The funding itself is beneficial as reimbursement for equipment, construction and education, but it also garners the backing of our local legislators, who support this department’s efforts, because they realize we attempt to participate in funding opportunities as they become available.


In purchasing equipment, such as roll offs, all specifications are uniform, so that existing trucks can transport an interchangeable fleet of roll off containers that are used for a variety of recycling programs, such as transport of tires, bulk metals, Freon units, and glass.  This increases efficiency in the overall transportation aspect of operations, allows for less handling of materials and provides neat and organized storage capabilities at transfer stations.