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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.