The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority’s only executive director is leaving his long-term position to pursue other interests. Executive Director Hans Arnold, who has held the post since the authority’s inception in 1988, plans to step down in January. When thinking back on his 20 year span with the authority, Arnold said the first thing that comes to mind is building the recycling center, which was completed in 1991 in Utica, and establishing recycling programs in the region.
“We made Oneida and Herkimer Counties one of the more progressive communities with solid waste management,” said Arnold. He also mentioned the regional landfill facility in Ava, which opened in 2006, as one of his favorite memories. He said the landfill will be reliable, cost effective and environmentally safe while serving the community for the next 60 years.
Another of Arnold’s proud moments involved winning the “Flow Control Case” with the United States Supreme Court, which set a national precedent for public solid waste systems in 2007. The case required haulers to deliver garbage to a public owned facility, such as the authority’s facility.
“It was rewarding to win that case,” said Arnold.
Authority board Chairman Donald Gross said Arnold, the board and staff have worked hard over the past 20 years to build a system that provides first class services and facilities for the community. “Hans helped us navigate some difficult times and the board is appreciative of his service,” said Gross.
Arnold will use remaining vacation and personal time upon leaving in January, which will last through March 4, at which time Deputy Executive Director William Rabbia will take over. Rabbia has served his current post since 2002. Rabbia has worked with local governments and haulers and took over the operational responsibility for the landfill in 2006.
Other authority facilities include the green waste compost facility, household hazardous waste facility, land clearing debris facility and three transfer stations, as well as programs for public school recycling and college food waste composting. “I am very fortunate to have been a part of these efforts,” added Arnold.
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