- Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander wants to shut down the Sunshine Canyon Landfill operated by Republic Services due to ongoing odor complaints from local residents, as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News.
- Last week, Englander introduced a motion asking the Bureau of Sanitation to start looking for an alternative disposal site for the city's waste. "With over 9,000 odor complaints since 2009, Republic Services has proven they are incapable of controlling odors from the site," he said in a statement.
- Englander has also asked the city attorney to look into legal options for community members that have been affected by odors.
This comes shortly after Los Angeles County issued a notice of violation to Republic for odors at the site. Republic said it has spent $27 million on site improvements since 2009, though complaints from residents have continued and local officials are frustrated. Yet finding an alternative disposal site may not be easy. The Chiquita Canyon Landfill was mentioned as a possibility, but local residents are also trying to close that site.
The city of Los Angeles is in the midst of updating its approach to waste, including a new street cleanliness rating system meant to reduce illegal dumping and a potential commercial waste franchising system. The city also aims to divert 90% of its waste from landfills by 2025, and 95% by 2035. The Bureau of Sanitation currently sends about 3% of residential waste to waste-to-energy facilities, and expects that number to possibly increase, but some form of landfill option will still be needed in the coming years.
As California landfill operators work to meet regional and statewide emissions reduction goals, these odor issues are an additional cost. Republic is currently working to address odor concerns farther north at the Newby Island Landfill, which it hopes to expand, and this is likely to remain an obstacle at other sites operating near residential areas as well.