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Falls Board Approves Barges Filled With Sandy Debris

The Waste Management landfill has been approved by the township to start temporarily allowing trash to come to the facility via the Delaware River.

Pending approval from the state, large barges filled with Hurricane Sandy debris from New York and New Jersey could be coming up the Delaware River to Falls Township in just a few weeks.

The township Board of Supervisors last week approved a motions which would waive a prohibition on trash-hauling barges going to the landfill.

Chairman Bob Harvie said there is a "tremendous amount of waste" in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy and the federal government is working with haulers to move it quickly.

The waiver gives Waste Management a 180 day pass on the prohibition, which has been in effect since 2005, officials said.

While the landfill sits in both Falls and Tullytown, the dock where the trash will be unloaded is in Falls.

Waste Management of the Greater Mid-Atlantic Vice President Tara Hemmer told the board the company would be sailing no more than one barge 300- to 400-long-barge to the facility. The barges are expected to carry between 2,000 and 5,000 tons of covered waste.

Once at the Falls Township dock, trucks will board the 100-foot-wide barge and unload the trash.

"I feel it's important to do our part to help with the situation in New Jersey and New York," Supervisor Brian Galloway said.

Secretary Jeffry Dence said the company assured the township that precautions would be taken during the operations.

Awaiting approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection, trash barges could start appearing on the river starting in early December, Hemmer said.

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