If you missed the story in this morning's Bee, the City of Sacramento is considering ending the practice of dumping its garbage in Nevada and instead using Kiefer Landfill in Sloughhouse.
The story says two dozen diesel-burning rigs make the 282-mile round trip every night, getting five to seven mpg, which is not friendly to the environment, but it was a cheap choice for the city last time around, a decade ago.
From the story:
"We don't want to see waste going any farther than it needs to," said Edison Hicks, Sacramento's director of utilities. "But the town gets in an uproar if they are being charged too much for trash collection."
Hicks said fuel prices and greenhouse gases weren't overriding concerns in 1998 when the city started contracting with a private trucking firm, BLT Enterprises, to haul its garbage. Despite the distance, the Nevada landfill, facing fewer environmental regulations than California landfills, offered the best deal.
Ten years later, diesel prices have leaped to around $3.50 a gallon. And Sacramento has begun touting itself as a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, embracing everything from energy-efficient offices to hybrid vehicles and solar panels.
Keith Roberts, coordinator of the "Greenest City" campaign, said Sacramento's efforts so far have focused on carbon emissions produced directly by the city, not those emitted by contractors. So the pollution from the garbage haulers isn't included in the city's greenhouse gas inventory – 63,000 metric tons in 2005.
"I don't like seeing our municipal waste hauled to Nevada," Roberts said. "But we've got to take it one step at time."
Kiefer Landfill would make a good home for Sacramento's trash, recyclables and green waste, said Patrick Quinn of the county's waste department. He said the landfill on Grant Line Road has enough room to last another 50 years. The county also is offering the use of its Roseville Road transfer station as an alternative to the city and BLT trucking building their own transfer facility – at a cost of $8 million to $15 million – to serve the growing north area.
So there -- every cloud has a silver lining. If we put up with the traffic and drive-by smell for another 50 years, we'll be done with it forever!
The rest of the story is here (registration required).