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City plans would expand Scholl Canyon landfill

Two options would increase the life and capacity of Scholl Canyon facility.

April 11, 2014|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
  • A worker keeps an eye on incoming vehicles while a bulldozer works trash into the Scholl Canyon landfill on Saturday, October 25, 2008.
A worker keeps an eye on incoming vehicles while a bulldozer… (Roger Wilson / Staff…)

City officials aim to increase the life of the 535-acre Scholl Canyon Landfill — both a moneymaker and money saver for Glendale — by more than a decade with two proposed expansion options that are currently under environmental review.

The first option involves an approximately 11.5-million-cubic-yard vertical expansion that would add 13 years to the landfill’s life, while the second includes both horizontal and vertical extensions equaling about 16.5 million cubic yards, increasing the landfill’s life by 19 years, according to the project’s draft environmental impact report.

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FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story misstated one of the types of expansion available for the Scholl Canyon Landfill. It is a vertical expansion, not horizontal.

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The landfill, which can accept a maximum of 3,400 tons of trash a day, is expected to reach capacity by 2021. If the maximum amount of trash is dumped every day, though, the lifespan could shorten to 2015.

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Public Works Director Steve Zurn, whose department manages the landfill, said he prefers the second option because it provides a longer lifespan.

“In my opinion, maximizing — taking the absolute maximum — is in our best interest,” he said, adding that the landfill is an important city asset.

Under both options, the maximum tonnage of trash permitted each day would not change. In addition, both variations would increase the height of the landfill by about 12% to 1,705 feet above sea level. About 9 acres of hillside would be cut if the second option is selected.

The expansion won’t have significant impacts on odor or scenic vistas, but it could worsen air quality by driving up pollution levels, according to the draft environmental impact report.

It also could substantially increase traffic-related noise for residences near Scholl Canyon Road between the Ventura (134) Freeway and the 7800 block of North Figueroa Street if more than 2,600 tons per day are dumped.

The second option could also potentially adversely influence the nesting habitat for some birds protected by a federal wildlife law, according to the report.

Having a landfill in the city means Glendale doesn’t have to pay to transport trash far distances — driving down the trash rate paid by residents. At the same time, Glendale can collect about $7.5 million in revenue a year for both allowing other agencies to dump at the site and selling landfill gas.

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