News & Events

New Trucked Waste Receiving Building

Construction of a new trucked waste receiving building is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2014. It is larger than the previous structure to accommodate tractor trailers or two smaller trucks simultaneously. Tankage was expanded by 50% and new equipment for better rock removal and odor control were added. A food scrap dump station was added to increase the diversity of organic waste that we can receive for conversion to biogas fuel in our digesters.

Energy Performance Upgrade

The IAWWTF is more than half way through a multi-year, $8 million, energy performance upgrade. Completed improvements include:
  • Weather-sealing existing buildings
  • Installation of energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs
  • Installation of 7.5 kW photovoltaic solar panels on a roof
  • Improvements to the air handling HVAC equipment
  • Two aging 100 kW co-generators have been replaced by four state-of-the-art 65 kilowatt micro-turbines
  • One of our hot water boilers has been replaced with two smaller, more efficient units
  • The anaerobic digesters received more efficient mixers and a new methane storage bubble has been installed
  • New aeration blowers, dissolved oxygen control system and air diffusion equipment will be installed during spring and summer 2014
The guaranteed result of these improvements will be long term cost savings. These savings will be the result of decreasing our energy consumption and increasing our renewable energy production (generated primarily from increased bio-gas production along with some solar electric). Before this upgrade, we produced bio-gas that generated 25-30% of the plant's energy needs. The contract guarantees that we will generate at least 60% of our energy needs. We have already exceeded this benchmark!

Safe Medication Disposal

The IAWWTF is proud to be the founding member of the Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal (CSMD). To date, we have collected more than 3.5 tons of medications for safe disposal.

In addition to twice a year, one day collection events, there are now 9 permanent drop-boxes for disposal of unwanted household medications:
Drop-Box Location
Tompkins County Sheriff  Public Safety Building
779 Warren Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Ithaca Police Department
120 E. Clinton St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Tompkins County Department of Probation
Human Services Building
320 W. State St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
By appointment, call 607-274-5380
Cayuga Heights Police Department
836 Hanshaw Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(except holidays)
Groton Police Department
108 East Cortland St
Groton, NY 13073
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Trumansburg Police Department 5 Elm St.
Trumansburg, NY 14886
Monday - Friday
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Cornell University Police Department
G2 Barton Hall
117 Statler Drive
Ithaca, NY 15926

Dryden Police Department
16 South St.
Dryden, NY 13053
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
TC3 (Tompkins Cortland Community College) Campus Police  170 North St.
Suite 118
Dryden, NY 13053
Monday - Saturday
7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

For more information, go visit the Community Coalition for Healthy Youth website.

The work of the CSMD is not only helping our local community, it is having a nationwide impact. We produced a series of how-to videos (produced by Park Productions at Ithaca College). The videos, an inventory spreadsheet and other documents created by the CSMD are available online.

If you have any questions about safe medication disposal please contact Ed Gottlieb.

Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act

On May 1, 2013, reporting requirements for the “Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act” go into effect. This act, signed into law last year by Governor Cuomo, changes the requirements for reporting partially or untreated sewage discharges, also known as bypasses, from publicly owned treatment works and from publicly owned sewer systems.


The law requires the Department of Public Works Water and Sewer Division to notify the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC), Tompkins County Health Department, Mayor of the City of Ithaca, Supervisor of the Town of Ithaca, and the general public within 4 hours after discovery of a sewer bypass.

Please note that notification does not indicate immediate cause for alarm or concern. Sewage backups, main breaks, and construction releases of small amounts of sewage are not uncommon in any public utility and generally are not a cause for concern. As of yet, the NYDEC has not set any minimum thresholds for reporting.

The main mechanism for the general public to find additional information about reported discharges is through the NYDEC’s new Sewage Discharge Reports website.

Please feel free to contact the Water and Sewer Division at 607-272-1717 should you have any questions about the new reporting requirements.