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Questions Arise Over Private Operation Of Miramar Landfill

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Aired 7/12/10

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said he wants to sell the Miramar Landfill, but some people say privatizing the landfill may create an environmental problem.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said he wants to sell the Miramar Landfill, but some people say privatizing the landfill may create an environmental problem.

Food waste at the Miramar Landfill. The mayor's office is looking at outsourcing operations at the city-owned Miramar Landfill. The city council learned about the plan at its meeting on May 25, 2010.
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Above: Food waste at the Miramar Landfill. The mayor's office is looking at outsourcing operations at the city-owned Miramar Landfill. The city council learned about the plan at its meeting on May 25, 2010.

The City of San Diego has put out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), which is the first step toward getting a private operator to take over the Miramar Landfill.

The city has operated the landfill since 1959 on land leased from the federal government.

Murtaza Baxamusa with the Center on Policy Initiatives in San Diego said the city's request for proposals does not include the same environmental operating standards the city has used.

"We are quite significantly concerned about the quality of how the management of that landfill will result in a deterioration of our water and our air," said Baxamusa.

The City Council has the final say whether any proposals are accepted.

Councilwoman Donna Frye said she likes the idea of selling the landfill, but she's not happy with the possibility that environmental standards could be less stringent under private operation.

Frye also said the council was not briefed and there was not an opportunity for San Diego residents to comment on the idea before the city posted the RFQ.

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