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Environmental Protection

Since its inception, the Simi Valley Landfill & Recycling Center has had an excellent record in meeting and exceeding city, state and federal guidelines. Our commitment to the community’s environmental and social health means that we are continuously working to operate our facility in the safest way possible.

It isn't enough to simply manage the environment on-site. The Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center is a part of the greater community, and as such, it is important to us to make sure that we are doing what we can to protect our neighbors and the greater community, even in cases when our technical responsibility ends at the landfill gates.


Design
The Simi Valley Landfill & Recycling Center is designed to dispose of non-hazardous solid wastes. All disposal areas are constructed with a composite liner system and leachate collection system. The leachate collection system gathers wastewater that is generated by the overlying municipal solid waste.


Groundwater Monitoring
The current groundwater-monitoring program includes monitoring wells placed around the active areas of the Simi Valley Landfill & Recycling Center. The locations of the wells are principally selected to intercept groundwater that flows beneath the landfills.


Landfill Liners
All components of the liner system construction are supervised and inspected to ensure that the completed landfill is protective of the environment. This includes manufacturing of the HDPE liner and installation of all components of the liner system during construction.


Landfill Gas Monitoring
A regular gas-monitoring program has been in effect at the Simi Valley Landfill & Recycling Center since its inception and includes permanent probes located along the perimeter of the landfill. The probes are installed to monitor the entire depth of waste to ensure that methane gas does not migrate off the landfill property.


Gas-to-Energy Generators
Since April 2004, the Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center has operated two 16-cylinder landfill gas-to-energy generators that transform methane gas into electricity and power 2,500 homes each day. Southern California Edison contracts with us to buy the energy, reducing their reliance on fossil fuels.

The gas-to-energy facility generates electricity that significantly lowers air emissions and is one of the largest and cleanest burning facilities of its kind in the world. As the landfill fills, the amount of available methane will increase, increasing the potential for more green power. In fact, we project that one-day we will have enough gas to power 5,000 to 7,000 homes per day.


Falcons
Our innovative seagull abatement program, which uses visiting falcons to scare the seagulls way has been featured in newspapers and on television. The falcons, which have been trained not to prey on other birds, do not attack or even go near the gulls, but the gulls react instinctively to seeing the birds of prey and they disperse. The falcons cost more to use, but unlike mechanical "bird bombs" or other solutions, are silent and humane.


Habitat Management Programs
Our operations must respect and compliment their surrounding environment. At the Simi Valley Landfill & Recycling Center, we have created artificial wetlands and will soon be creating a Venturan Coastal sage preserve. A variety of management techniques are used to enhance the habitat at the landfill, including planting hundreds of trees and shrubs, as well as native species.


Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Vehicles
We are a clean energy leader, operating most of our trucks on clean burning fuel that protects local air quality. Our natural gas fleet program has been recognized by both the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy for its cutting edge use of alternative fuels.

In 2005, Waste Management/GI Industries reduced more than 50 tons per year of harmful air emissions from its fleet of garbage and recycling trucks, beating the state California Air Resources Board (ARB) early deadline for reducing diesel emissions.

The total reduction in air pollution includes cutting toxic emissions by nearly two tons per year and smog-forming emissions by more than 48 tons per year. The changes we made to our trucks resulted in the equivalent of taking 6,000 passenger cars off of the road.

Presently, 75 of our trucks have either been permanently retired, replaced with clean burning natural gas or equipped with “best available control technologies” - special pollution controls on the tailpipe - to reduce emissions.


Greenwaste
Recycling has always been a key priority for Waste Management, not only does it help save valuable landfill space; it also protects the health of the environment and the surrounding community. Waste Management has an extensive greenwaste program that diverts waste from the landfill. Since its debut in 1990, the greenwaste recycling program has collected over 1 million tons of yard debris for recycling.


Water Reclamation
In partnership with the City of Simi Valley and the Calleguas Municipal Water District, the Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center utilizes reclaimed water, thus reducing demand on drinking water. Currently, the Landfill uses 11 million gallons of reclaimed water per year for irrigation and dust control purposes. By using reclaimed water, the landfill saves enough drinking water for over 100 homes.