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City Plan Will Extend Life Of Miramar Landfill To 2030

Photo caption:

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Trash piles up at Miramar Landfill, Aug. 5, 2015.

A more efficient method of trash compaction and implementation of a plan to drastically reduce the amount of waste generated in San Diego will extend the life of the Miramar Landfill to 2030, city officials announced Wednesday.

The landfill had previously been projected to reach capacity seven years from now. But the new system to compact trash will increase the remaining room by 45 percent, from 3.6 million tons to 11.6 million tons, according to the mayor's office.

"We've increased the landfill's capacity while at the same time making sure we recycle as much of our trash as possible so it never reaches to the landfill," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. "It's a great example of the innovative ideas our city employees come up with when asked for creative solutions."

Under the compaction method, landfill employees will lay out the day's trash in layers, like pancakes atop one another. Previously, a sloping method was used.

The suggestion was contained in a submittal from employees when the city put operations of the landfill out to competitive bidding a few years ago, according to the mayor's office.

The initiative to reduce waste was approved by the City Council last month.

The so-called "Zero Waste" plan envisions diverting 75 percent of trash to recycling by 2020, 90 percent in 2035 and 100 percent in 25 years.

About two-thirds of the waste generated in San Diego is currently recycled, according to city data.

"The bottom line is we are putting more trash into less space and expanding the life of the landfill, which is worth tens of millions of dollars in future revenue for the city," said Mario Sierra, the city's environmental services director.


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