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The Sanitation Districts operate a comprehensive solid waste management system serving the needs of a large portion of Los Angeles County. This system includes sanitary landfills, recycle centers, materials recovery/transfer facilities, and energy recovery facilities. In every operation, the first order of business is to insure a “good neighbor policy” that strives for a safe balance with surrounding communities.
WHO’S WHO OF DISPOSAL FACILITIES
The two operational sites are the Calabasas Landfill, located near the City of Agoura Hills, and the Scholl Canyon Landfill, located in the City of Glendale. The Puente Hills Landfill was closed on October 31, 2013, and closure activities at the site will take 12 to 18 months. At the other closed landfills, Spadra, Palos Verdes, and Mission Canyon landfills, the Sanitation Districts continue to maintain environmental control systems.
RECYCLING AND MATERIALS RECOVERY/TRANSFER FACILITIES
As the list of recyclables continues to grow, the Sanitation Districts are deploying new, more sophisticated technology to maximize cost-efficiency. In fact, the Sanitation Districts own and operate facilities that help Los Angeles County meet its goals in diverting waste from landfills and in providing cost-effective transfer of municipal solid waste to landfills by truck or rail.
The recycle centers located at the Puente Hills Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Palos Verdes Landfill are Certified California Buy Back Centers. The Puente Hills MRF and the Downey Area Recycling and Transfer (DART) Facility recover recyclable materials, such as paper and plastics, through a combination of manual and mechanical methods. The South Gate Transfer Station reduces operational costs by consolidating smaller loads into larger ones for transport to landfills.
ENERGIZING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THROUGH RECOVERY FACILITIES
One of the first to utilize landfill gas as a natural resource to produce renewable energy, the Sanitation Districts' energy recovery facilities at the Puente Hills, Spadra, and Calabasas landfills provide reliable and economic electrical power to help serve Southern California’s increasing energy needs.
The use of solid waste as a fuel to produce power reduces our reliance on fossil fuels while helping to prolong the remaining landfill capacity in the region. The Commerce Refuse-to-Energy Facility is the first of its kind in California. It is owned by a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) created by the Sanitation Districts and the City of Commerce and is operated by the Sanitation Districts. Similarly, the Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF) in Long Beach is owned by a JPA consisting of the Sanitation Districts and the City of Long Beach, and is operated for the JPA by a private company.
TRACKING THE FUTURE WITH WASTE-BY-RAIL
The pioneering spirit is again apparent as the Sanitation Districts take the lead role in implementing the Waste-by-Rail system, the transport of waste to distant disposal facilities by train. This innovative system will provide long-term disposal capacity to replace local landfills as they reach capacity and close.
The Puente Hills MRF was the initial infrastructure for the Waste-by-Rail system. To further develop the system, the Sanitation Districts have completed construction of the Mesquite Regional Landfill in Imperial County, which is permitted to handle up to 20,000 tons per day for approximately 100 years. Development of the Puente Hills Intermodal Facility is now underway.