- Santa Cruz County in California opened what will be the last cell in the Buena Vista Landfill, expected to reach the end of its life in 2036, according to 546KION.
- The $6 million project spans 7 acres on the dump that takes in 500 tons of waste a day.
- Last May the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that once the last section filled, the region’s trash would go to the landfill in Marina, a large site with a 100-year life span. 546KION reported yesterday that the county is looking at partnerships with other counties and a transfer station similar to the one at its Ben Lomond facility.
The county is not sitting around waiting for the very last cell, which took a year to complete, to begin filling up. As officials celebrate the opening of the 250,000-square-foot section, they are looking for other ways to deal with their trash, hoping to divert as much as possible from the current or any future landfills in the first place. Today, 70% of the county’s trash is recycled, which has been buying the municipality time as it ponders its next waste management plan.
What residue is left has to go somewhere, and the county plans to continue collecting it. But Santa Cruz County Supervisor Zach Friend told 546KION, "Realistically there aren't a lot of waste facilities being built within the state, and so we have to be able to live within our means and [if we can] agree that we can go to a zero waste that would be ideal. If we had 100% diversion program then we don't need the construction of these kinds of facilities."
Elsewhere in California, municipalities have looked for new ways to cut their dependency on landfills, calling on residents to adopt new habits as they look lofty, looming diversion goals square in the eye.