The Plan

Proactively meeting the infrastructure needs of western Placer County areas through responsible solid waste management

The Issues

Statewide

California is aggressively expanding regulations to reduce materials going to landfills

75%

Required organics diversion from landfills by 2025

Local

Western Placer County on pace to outgrow existing solid waste facilities due to increasing population

2X

Expected population increase in Placer County and its cities by 2050

Global

China and other international recyclers are closing their doors, destabilizing markets and impacting solid waste facility capacities across the US, including Placer County.

Consequences of Inaction

The WPWMA's composting and recycling facilities will not be able to accept additional waste within

2-5 years

Placer County jurisdictions will be forced to either:

Build additional solid waste facilities

or

Transport waste to other landfills outside the county or state

Which will require significant time and resources and could result in:

Higher rate passed to customers through garbage bills

Loss of local control over rates and services provided to solid waste customers

Bottom Line

Without modification, WPWMA's existing facilities lack capacity necessary to meet regulatory and regional growth demands. Failure to address waste management infrastructure needs now will lead to significant cost implications for western Placer County jurisdictions, residents and businesses in the near future.

Plan Goals

Increase facility recycling and landfill diversion

Create opportunities for industrial innovation and economic growth

Provide capacity to support current and future population and development

Provide a safeguard for future generations by maintaining local control and stable rates

Ensure compliance with expanding regulations

Enhance operations compatibility with current and future neighboring land uses

Plan Concepts

WPWMA identified concepts to address regional growth, changes in regulations, increasing diversion rates, improving operational efficiencies and maintaining compatibility between operations and neighboring developments.

The concepts represent potential configurations to meet the plan goals, focusing on four critical facility elements:

Landfill

Provide capacity to accommodate regional growth; maintain control of costs and disposal methods

Composting

Process additional materials to meet regulations; minimize associated odors

Construction & Demolition

Increase operating capacity, efficiency, and material diversion; maintain competitive rates

Public Drop-off

Maintain safety and convenience; reduce traffic congestion

Process

Engage a wide range of stakeholders and interested parties for input on project concepts

Evaluate facility needs in a transparent process by conducting studies to support project decisions

Implement selected project concept based on informed WPWMA Board decision

FAQ

What is the WPWMA?

The Western Placer Waste Management Authority (WPWMA) is a Joint Powers Authority comprised of Placer County and the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln (Member Agencies) to own and operate a regional recycling facility and sanitary landfill.  The WPWMA’s facilities have adapted over the years to support evolving community needs, and today include Placer County’s only active landfill as well as composting, household hazardous waste, and recycling operations.

The WPWMA is primarily funded through tipping fees (money collected from customers delivering waste to the facility) and does not receive any funding from taxes.

Why is the Waste Action Plan (Plan) necessary?

Placer County is the second fastest growing county in California and its population is expected to nearly double in the next 30 years according to California State Department of Finance, Population Projections for California and Its Counties 2000-2050 (July 2007).  Over the last 15 years, the WPWMA’s facility has maintained compatibility with surrounding land uses.  With recent development proposed even closer to the facility, the WPWMA must maintain compatibility while continuing to provide vital waste management services including managing increasing waste flows.

In addition to projected population increases, Placer County jurisdictions are seeking ways to respond to simultaneous restrictions in global recycling markets and increasingly stringent state-mandated limitations on materials that can be placed in California’s landfills:

  • Regulations – California legislation ultimately requiring a 75% reduction in the amount of organics disposed in landfills to reducegreenhouse gas emissions.
  • Markets – The US has historically relied heavily on foreign recycling markets; recent global market fluctuations highlight the need to establish local markets. The Plan includes space for new compatible technologies and industry to be sited at the WPWMA’s facility to reduce dependence on global markets.
  • Regional Compatibility – While odors are a natural and unavoidable by product of the decomposition of organic waste, the WPWMA endeavors to maintain compatibility with neighboring land uses and the Plan incorporates additional compatibility measures.

 

What is the Plan purpose?

The Plan is being developed to identify the changes needed to WPWMA facilities and operations to ensure that the WPWMA’s facilities support future waste management and recycling needs for the rapidly growing communities it serves while complying with an increasingly complex regulatory environment.

Since its inception, the WPWMA has planned for the future of its Member Agencies and other Placer County jurisdictions it serves, including: construction of the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to assist jurisdictions in complying with state recycling mandates; purchase of western and eastern adjacent properties for potential future solid waste management operations; early California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of the western property for landfilling; creating additional capacity to accommodate increased green waste material produced in the region; providing facility access for new and emerging solid waste conversion technologies; and partnerships with local universities to promote research and development opportunities.

These regulatory and regional growth challenges present an opportunity for the WPWMA to proactively meet infrastructure needs of western Placer County areas through responsible solid waste management.

What WPWMA operations does the Plan address?
  • Landfill – Provide additional capacity to accommodate regional growth and maintain control of costs and disposal methods
  • Composting – Process additional organic materials to meet current and pending state regulations while minimizing associated odors
  • Construction and Demolition Processing – Increase operating capacity, efficiency, and material diversion to meet Cal-Green Standards; maintain competitive rates
  • Public Facilities – Maintain safety and convenience; reduce traffic congestion
Where do facility odors come from and how will the Plan address them?

The WPWMA’s facility has three dominate odor sources: composting operations, receipt of waste at the active landfill, and landfill gas emissions.  While odor is a natural and unavoidable aspect of solid waste management, the WPWMA strives to minimize odors to the extent possible.   The Plan will identify strategies to further minimize odor impacts including bolstering existing odor reduction measures and implementing new odor control technologies that are emerging as the solid waste industry evolves.

Can the Plan be implemented on the existing property?

The WPWMA is quickly outgrowing its current facilities and cannot accommodate both waste disposal and recycling operations necessary to serve Placer County’s growing population and comply with the State’s expanding regulatory mandates on the active property.

If the WPWMA’s additional properties cannot be utilized for expanded operations, Member Agencies have expressed a desire to maintain viable recycling and composting operations on the active property at the expense of landfill capacity, assuming alternative landfilling, such as an out-of-county or out-of-state landfill,  can be identified elsewhere.

Can the landfill be moved elsewhere in the county or can waste be transported to another facility?

At a minimum, closing the existing landfill would require ceasing current waste operations, capping the landfill, and performing costly environmental monitoring in perpetuity. In either case, waste would need to go to a new landfill. Siting and developing new landfills is arduous, complicated and expensive, requiring compliance with not only state law but local land use regulations.  The typical siting and permitting process can take 20-30 years with no guarantee of siting a new landfill.

The costs to transport waste outside the county or state are inordinately high, and solid waste disposal rates for customers would substantially increase.  In addition, the jurisdictions served by the WPWMA would lose local control over solid waste management operations and rates.

How will the Plan benefit the region?

The Plan ensures that the WPWMA’s Member Agencies and other Placer County jurisdictions are able to comply with expanding and increasingly stringent solid waste regulations by:

  • Providing capacity to support current and future population and development
  • Enhancing compatibility with current and future existing and proposed neighboring land uses
  • Creating expanded and new opportunities for industrial innovation and economic growth in the region
What happens if the Plan is not implemented?

Potential consequences of not implementing the Plan include:

  • Limited operational flexibility or adaptability
  • Reliance on out-of-county or out-of-state landfills
  • Significant rate increases
  • Loss of local control over how waste and/or recycling services for western Placer County residents and businesses are handled
  • Current level of odor could continue to be emitted from the facility, and could be noticeable by residences and businesses as they move closer to the landfill
  • Additional odor mitigations that are included in the Plan will not be implemented at the existing facility, thus odor reduction benefits of the Plan would not be realized
What is the schedule to implement the Plan?

The WPWMA refined the Plan concepts with input from a diverse set of stakeholders including Member Agencies as well as the broader public and other various interested groups. WPWMA staff presented a preferred Plan to its Board of Directors for consideration to begin the CEQA process at their December 2018 meeting. The WPWMA Board directed staff to evaluate two Plan concepts equally via the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for potential impacts on environmental resources including air quality, odor, noise, transportation, and biological resources, among many others.  After the CEQA evaluation is complete, the WPWMA Board of Directors will be presented with the final decision to approve the project.  More information on the CEQA process can be found at www.opr.ca.gov/ceqa

How much will the Plan cost and how will it be funded?

The WPWMA’s Plan will evaluate capital and operating costs as well as phasing of each concept, which will be refined as the Plan is further developed. Plan costs are anticipated to be borne over a 50+ year period, and will be funded by tipping fee revenue, reserves, issuing bonds, etc. Taxpayer dollars will not fund any portion of the Plan.

How will the Plan affect residents?

The CEQA process will evaluate potential project-related environmental impacts that could affect adjacent land users, such as odors and traffic.

Other elements such as rates could also be affected. Potential rate increases would be borne by direct users of the facility; some could be passed on to residents through garbage collection fees established by the haulers (City of Lincoln, City of Roseville and Recology Auburn Placer). While difficult to anticipate potential rate increases, the Plan is intended to implement facility and operational changes in a way that meets regulatory mandates while maintaining a stable facility rate structure.

How can I participate in the Plan process?

The WPWMA will provide meaningful opportunities for stakeholders and interested members of the public to learn more about the Plan and provide input. The WPWMA will continue with an active outreach and engagement process to ensure that the Plan is shaped by the community throughout the CEQA process.

Stay informed