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SOLID WASTE SANITARY LANDFILL

BUENA VISTA FACILITY

Authority for Review

Grand Jury Jurisdiction provided by Penal Code Section 925.

Background

Periodic review of County agencies.

Method of Review

Interview with Solid Waste Sanitary Landfill Contractor
Interview with Director of Waste Management
Interview with County's Senior Engineer/Technician
Review of documents including 1996-1997 Waste Management budget, contracts for operation of the Landfill and Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)
Review of applicable California Public Resources Codes as enacted by Assembly Bill 939 (see Appendix)
On-site visit

Findings

In 1989 the passage of California Assembly Bill 939 required each county to prepare and implement a county integrated waste management plan designed to achieve a reduction in solid waste. This plan must include programs for solid waste reduction, recycling, alternate disposal locations and public education.

The County contracts with a California licensed contractor to operate and maintain the county's solid waste sanitary landfill on Buena Vista Road. To meet the reduction requirements of Assembly Bill 939, the Contractor agreed to provide and operate a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Landfill.

The MRF, or "murph", operates as a sorting station to separate recyclables from solid waste at the Landfill. The MRF began operating in March 1997.

The MRF may receive solid waste from throughout the County and from other areas authorized by the County. All solid waste haulers are charged the same rate for use of the MRF.

Presently there is a contract to transport solid waste processed through the MRF to Lockwood, Nevada. The recyclables are stored and marketed by the Landfill Contractor.

Under the terms of the MRF contract the County was to provide and install a certified scale for weighing vehicles transporting solid waste to and from the facility. As of the date the MRF became operational, a scale had been purchased but not installed.

The MRF contract requires a yearly review of the facility's operating costs and revenues commencing January 1998. The review will be used by the County to determine whether any changes should be made in landfill rates.

At the time of our investigation, there were plans to implement a public education program concerning the MRF.

Conclusions

To meet the solid waste reduction requirements of Assembly Bill 939, the MRF must be in full operation.

The certified scale required under the MRF contract needs to be made operational.

The required public education programs should be implemented.

Recommendations

Install the certified public scale for immediate use.

Implement all required public education programs.

Response Required

The Amador County Grand Jury requests a response from the Board of Supervisors and the Waste Management Director within 90 days as required by California Penal Code Section 933(c).
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