BATH, N.Y. (WETM) — A tradition 10 years in the making continues as sheep have been reintroduced to graze the Steuben County Landfill for the 2022 season.

Going on since 2012, this unusual contract has been keeping the inactive areas of the county landfill trimmed, and the sheep fed!

Located on Turnpike Road in the Town of Bath, the sheep at the landfill don’t just put smiles on people’s faces but have an important impact on the landfill’s integrity.

According to the DEC, using the sheep to graze the capped-off sections of the landfill is seen as an effective way to prevent the growth of brush and trees with deeper root systems. If left unchecked the deeper roots could damage the capped landfill.

The herd requires little maintenance and no shelter during the months of May-October, with the exception of a shade tree and a tub of water. The owners of the animals maintain medical needs and retrieve the herd when winter arrives.

A final benefit to the sheep is that it saves the county money. The fencing to keep the sheep inside the landfill is paid for by a grant from the Susquehanna River Coalition and roughly $5,000 is saved annually in lawn-mowing costs.