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Ralph Frattura's picture
Joined: 06/18/2007
Posts: 235
Happy holidays for Kiefer Landfill

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).

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Ralph Frattura's picture
Joined: 06/18/2007
Posts: 235
Bee editorial favors the switch

A Bee editorial this morning endorses the possible City of Sacramento move to dump its garbage at Kiefer Landfill in Sloughhouse instead of hauling it to Nevada.

From the editorial:

A city shift to Kiefer would also help the county, which has steadily lost municipal customers over the past decade. After the city of Sacramento abandoned Kiefer in 1998, Sacramento County's three new cities – Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Citrus Heights – also dropped their garbage contracts with the county. All three contracted with a private company that had much lower labor costs to collect and dispose of municipal garbage at privately owned landfills. But none sent their garbage as far away as Nevada.

Since losing its municipal customer base, the county has worked hard to make the Kiefer landfill more competitive. It has also benefited from franchise fees charged to big private haulers that have helped finance environmental upgrades at Kiefer.

Put all of these factors together, and the city's course seems clear. It must continue to minimize the waste stream through recycling and reduction, but also partner with the county to dispose of the leftover trash closer to home. The two local governments need to stop fighting and cooperate. Doing so will protect the environment and save ratepayers money.

Read all about it here (registration required).

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