Carson in talks with Calif. company to run landfill, waste recovery process |

Carson in talks with Calif. company to run landfill, waste recovery process

Sandi Hoover

Carson City could become a more environmentally sophisticated community after officials agreed Thursday to negotiate with a San Francisco firm to operate its landfill and develop a waste recovery process.

The board of supervisors directed staff to pursue working relationships with neighboring communities which might be interested in using the Carson City landfill, thereby increasing what is known as the landfill’s “waste stream” and its revenue.

The increase would provide an opportunity to look at bringing in San Francisco-based Recology Waste Zero to operate the landfill and eventually develop a waste recovery process.

Public Works Director Andy Burnham, whose department operates the landfill, said Carson City now recovers 29 percent of its trash, which is above the state’s goal for communities of 25 percent.

California now has a 50 percent mandated recovery, but is expected to require 75 percent in the near future, he said. In addition, several bill drafts for the next legislative session call for more stringent recovery measures and the Environmental Protection Agency may soon impose its own mandates.

Burnham said it costs the city $1.8 million a year to operate the landfill, which brings in $2.6 million in revenue.

Mike Sangiacomo, president and chief executive officer for Recology, told supervisors that if his company is brought in, it would first focus on separation and recycling of construction and demolition materials, but possibly could move ahead with a composting operation as well.

The cost of a waste recovery operation has not yet been determined, but funding would come from landfill user fee revenues, according to Burnham’s report to the board.

“If shared with the region, the increased costs could be mitigated to some degree to city residents,” he said.

Waste recovery also would preserve the landfill’s 100-year life span, he said.