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City: Despite Zero Waste Goal, Miramar Landfill Needs To Be Expanded

Trash piled up at the Miramar Landfill, June 24, 2019.

Photo by Matt Hoffman

Above: Trash piled up at the Miramar Landfill, June 24, 2019.

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A plan to allow the city of San Diego's only landfill to pile waste 25 feet higher got a key approval last week.

Aired: December 10, 2019 | Transcript

A plan to allow the city of San Diego's only landfill to pile waste 25 feet higher got a key approval last week.

Lisa Wood, principal planner with the city, said the expansion will extend the life of Miramar Landfill by four years. With the expansion, the landfill is expected to accept waste through 2028.

RELATED: State, Federal Politics Cloud San Diego's Climate Goals

Wood said the expansion is needed despite San Diego's goal to get to zero waste by 2040.

"We want to work on as much diversion as possible and recycling is one of the key ways that we do diversion," she said. "But if you do take a look at the recycling facilities that we have, they're not able to recycle 100% of what's in those blue bins. So all of those recycling facilities have residuals that have to go somewhere and so even if everything was going to a recycling facility not everything that goes to the recycling facility has an actual market."

She also said city residents can help extend the life of the landfill by putting the correct items in recycling bins and by considering a product's life cycle along with its packaging materials.

The expansion still needs approval from the Air Pollution Control District, water quality regulators and the Marine Corps, which owns the land.

Wood joined Midday Edition on Tuesday to talk about the future of the Miramar Landfill and what residents can do to reduce waste.

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