recology landfill, 8/21/12

Bulldozers push garbage into place at the Recology Hay Road Landfill outside of Vacaville in 2012. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

Solano County

San Francisco sees Solano landfill as trash option

By From page A1 | July 10, 2014

VACAVILLE — San Francisco could truck its trash to Hay Road Landfill in rural Solano County – 8 miles southeast of Vacaville – if a plan to transport trash by rail to Yuba County falls through or gets delayed.

The city presently sends 48 truckloads of garbage daily to Altamont Landfill in Alameda County. But city officials expect that landfill to reach capacity in about 2016.

San Francisco has worked with Recology on what it calls the Green Rail Project. Under this proposal, the city would take trash to the Union Pacific rail yard in Oakland. Trains would then take the trash to the Recology Ostrom Road Landfill in Yuba County.

The proposed project has grown in scope and complexity since 2011, Yuba County Planning Director Wendy Hartman said. Yuba County and San Francisco are preparing a draft environmental impact report that she expects will be ready in late summer.

San Francisco for several years has considered the Recology Hay Road Landfill in Solano County as another possible destination for its garbage. The city in late June announced it will explore the possible environmental effects for the Hay Road Landfill option.

The city wants to make certain it has an option for garbage disposal when the Altamont Landfill reaches capacity, said Paul Maltzer, senior planner for the San Francisco Environmental Planning Division. Officials are not certain that the Green Rail option will be ready by then, he said.

It’s uncertain whether the Hay Road Landfill study will end up being an environmental impact report or a less-extensive negative declaration, Maltzer said. The next step is to do traffic and air quality background technical studies, he said.

People who want to voice potential environmental concerns on the Hay Road Landfill option that they think the studies should include can call Maltzer at 415-575-9038 by Tuesday.

Hay Road Landfill serves Vacaville, Dixon and other communities. It rises out of the flatlands on 640 acres in the rural, agricultural area near Hay Road and Highway 113, with 256 acres available for disposal and 54 acres for composting.

Solano County allows the landfill to receive up to 2,400 tons of garbage daily. The landfill accepts about 660 tons of garbage a day, according to a 2012 Hay Road Landfill study done for the county.

San Francisco trucks about 1,400 tons of garbage daily to Altamont Landfill.

Hay Road Landfill has the permits to accept the San Francisco waste, Recology spokesman Adam Alberti said. San Francisco already sends green waste to Hay Road Landfill for composting, he said.

Bringing 1,400 tons of San Francisco trash daily to the Hay Road Landfill in addition to local trash would have proven problematic before 2012. The landfill previously had not only a peak daily garbage limit of 2,400 tons, but also had an additional limit of 1,200 tons a day when averaged over a week.

Recology asked Solano County in 2012 to remove the 1,200-tons-a day limit averaged over a week, allowing it to take in the peak 2,400-ton amount every day. The county Planning Commission approved the request, though one commissioner voiced concerns about more out-of-county garbage coming to local landfills.

“The most important thing is to take care of our current customers in Solano County,” Paul Yamamoto, group vice president for Recology, said in 2012. “We have quite a bit of capacity to manage that. We’re just looking for the ability to manage Solano County’s waste stream as well as additional opportunities.”

The 2012 Hay Road Landfill report said the landfill under the previous daily tonnage limits, which were more strict, had enough room to last until 2070 without expansion. Should the landfill accept 2,400 tons a day under the new rules, it would fill up in 2030.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Discussion | 17 comments

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  • boomJuly 10, 2014 - 12:21 am

    We've already taken on the trash(people) from the entire east bay such as Oakland, Richmond and Vallejo, why not take on SF's waste problem too. I swear Solano is the red headed step child of the bay's nine counties.

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  • DumbassesJuly 10, 2014 - 12:38 am

    Question, why don't they burn the trash instead of letting it just fill up?

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  • JagJuly 10, 2014 - 8:34 pm

    Burn it,,, Are you serious?.... LOL I am not laughing at you “D” I am laughing with you,,,, This ant Texas Have you ever heard of the EPA or how about environmental lawyers,, they are trying to figure out a way to tax farmers for their cow`s farting,

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  • 2realJuly 10, 2014 - 5:43 am

    Global warming maybe;)

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  • P.J.July 10, 2014 - 7:03 am

    You think there's a problem now with San Francisco wanting to import their garbage to Solano county? I wish Barry would dig up the 1984 fight to keep Lynch Canyon (yes, that pristine open space), with American Creek running along the bottom, from becoming a land fill! County supervisors voted "yes", with one "no". When the second vote was taken 2 supervisors changed their votes, but the vote was still "yes". Then, guess what hit the fan!!! A talented woman named: Juanita Schiel started the petition to put the issue on the ballot! Today, there is "Lynch Canyon", and sadly you don't see a thing to honor Juanita Schiel's memory. Without her, Lynch Canyon would be a landfill.

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  • rlw895July 15, 2014 - 4:18 pm

    Democrats in the state legislature sided with San Francisco to overturn the initiative. So now San Francisco is nosing around for the best deal, exploiting Solano County much like Los Angeles exploited the Owens Valley. Only that was water and this is landfill capacity.

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  • BeeboJuly 10, 2014 - 8:45 am

    I would have been OK with the trash if it would come from places north and south where hardworking, honest folks live, but to have this liberal trash from SF is just outrageous. Think of the children.

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  • John AndersonJuly 10, 2014 - 10:06 am

    Man, that's a lot of trucks on a long run. Think of the fuel and pollution that causes. But what other answer is there?

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  • JagJuly 10, 2014 - 8:41 pm

    AWWW yes john but also think about how much the EPA can charge Recology for their carbon foot print and now we have a bran new truck scale so the state of California can rake in fines for truck inspections tickets,,,

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  • Trash everywhere....July 10, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    While I really don't care to have the extra trash come here, but maybe if our politicians looked out for the residents for once and structured the agreement in a way that has our trash rates going down or staying the same for several years, it might be more palatable. As well, have UP construct a siding to leave the railcars there and have truck haul it to the landfill. Might help the air quality in that reguard.

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  • General Fadi BasemJuly 10, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    What about a fee of about $200,000 per truck to move the trash into the county?

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  • streetJuly 10, 2014 - 4:52 pm

    The county receives about 4 million dollars a year from "tipping fees" from garbage deposited at Protero Hills landfill. That money goes to the general fund. I don't know what is received from the Hay Rd. Landfill, but I believe it is about the same.

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  • Ulises S. GuberJuly 10, 2014 - 8:15 pm

    send it to china

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  • Concerned MomJuly 15, 2014 - 2:00 pm

    It's ridiculous that we are becoming the Bay Area's dump! Let Nancy Pelosi and her cronies deal with their own trash. Think of the long term impacts. Once Hay Road is filled to capacity with Pelosi's trash, our blind elected officials will approve another mega dump, then another. It's exactly how LA treats the Central Valley. I say "NO."

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  • Keep Solano GreenJuly 15, 2014 - 2:26 pm

    The Hay Road Landfill is surrounded by farmland and environmentally sensitive habitats. Using Hay Road as an alternative for SF trash will destabilize an already threatened area. Yet, there is no plan for public review under CEQA for Hay Road. Yuba County gets an EIR, but Solano doesn't? Solano County deserved equal protection under the law and our leaders need to fight for what's right.

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  • Keep Solano GreenJuly 15, 2014 - 2:28 pm

    Keep Solano GreenJuly 15, 2014 - 2:26 pm The Hay Road Landfill is surrounded by farmland and environmentally sensitive habitats. Using Hay Road as an alternative for SF trash will destabilize an already threatened area. Yet, there is no plan for public review under CEQA for Hay Road. Yuba County gets an EIR, but Solano doesn't? Solano County deserves equal protection under the law and our leaders need to fight for what's right.

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  • JagJuly 15, 2014 - 3:56 pm

    I used to go to the dump with my dad at the end of Georgia street across Columbus parkway in Vallejo back in the late 60`s, Later in the 70`s they built a big housing project over that dump called summer set highland`s and guess what? In the 80`s there was a big law suit because all the garbage turned into natural gas and it started seeping up thru the floors of the homes, some were condemned. So let SF pay the higher rates to send it further away or to China where you can burn it.

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