The Landfill Management Unit manages the County's inactive landfills and former refuse burning sites (burn sites). Although these sites no longer accept municipal solid waste (trash), continued monitoring and maintenance is required to minimize impacts to the environment and to protect public health and safety. To that end, the County regularly monitors landfill gas generation and migration, groundwater quality, and stormwater runoff quality. The County also maintains various systems at the sites to control landfill gas emissions, mitigate impacts to groundwater, and to manage the flow and discharge of storm water. On most of the sites, vegetation is used to control surface erosion. All of these activities are funded through the Solid Waste Environmental Trust Fund. The Board of Supervisors established this fund using a portion of the sale proceeds following the successful divestiture of the County Solid Waste System in 1997.
The Landfill Management Unit works closely with local, state, and federal regulators to maintain the sites in accordance with established laws and regulations. These regulatory agencies include the Local Enforcement Agency, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Air Pollution Control District.
In recent years, the Landfill Management Unit has sought to develop secondary uses for the inactive sites. Today, some of the County’s former landfills and burn sites are experiencing new life as sites for a variety of commercial developments such as recycling facilities and automobile dealerships, as well as for recreational uses such as model aircraft airports. Also, electricity is produced at a site using the methane gas that is naturally produced by decomposition of the waste in the landfill. This represents a win-win situation for the County and the environment. When considering a new use, the Landfill Management Unit works to ensure that it is compatible with the overriding environmental laws and regulations and that compliance can be maintained.
If you have further questions regarding the County’s Inactive Landfill program, please refer to a list of FAQ's and for any other question please contact Michele Stress at Michele.Stress@sdcounty.ca.gov or call (858) 694-2691.
For information regarding active (open) landfills within the County, please contact Republic Services at www.republicservices.com or the city of San Diego at www.sandiego.gov/environmental-services/miramar.