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Facility Overview Map
Construction Sequencing Plan
Landfill Gas Extraction System Layout
Chicago Grade Landfill is a Class III waste management unit, permitted by the RWQCB to dispose of non-hazardous municipal solid wastes. Solid wastes are received from Atascadero, Templeton, Santa Margarita and the unincorporated area of San Luis Obispo County, as well as from Guadalupe and the unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County and occasionally Monterey County.
Waste types are typically as follows:
Additionally, treated and dried sewage sludge generated from Atascadero or other wastewater treatment plants is accepted at the landfill. Rather than co-disposing the sludge, the material is used as a soil amendment to promote vegetative growth on intermediate landfill slopes. When available, the sludge is applied to the slopes during the fall months prior to the rainy season.
Incoming wastes are weighed, categorized by the scale house attendant as disposable or recyclable, and catalogued as to origin. Disposable waste is unloaded directly at the landfill working face. Vehicles with disposal waste follow marked access roads to the disposal area and are directed to appropriate unloading spaces by landfill personnel. Waste can be deposited at the top deck above the daily cell, at the lower deck, or both depending on customer volumes and proximity of the daily cell to an outside slope.
The dimensions of the unloading area vary depending on the available space adjacent to the working face. Typically, an area of approximately 50 feet by 100 feet is adequate for both commercial and public vehicles. The unloading area is usually located within 100 feet of the working face in order to minimize the push distance between the unloading area and the working face where waste is spread and compacted. The landfill customers perform unloading, either by mechanical or manual means. Commercial vehicles are generally self-unloading, and public vehicles usually must be manually unloaded. The unloaded wastes are visually inspected for hazardous, prohibited materials or salvageable materials prior to spreading the wastes over the working face for compaction.
Household hazardous wastes are accepted by the IWMAs collection facility, located on a leased-acre site on the landfill parcel. Unloading practices and handling procedures at the HHW facility are the responsibility of the IWMA.
Processing of clean wood waste is performed at the northeastern portion of the permitted area. Woody and vegetative materials are accepted, including tree branches and limbs, untreated lumber, leaves, pallets, etc. Large stumps and other woody wastes which may have too much contamination (such as rock and dirt, metal, and plastic) are landfilled. Woody, grindable wastes are also separated at the working face, where practicable, and transported to the stockpile for processing.
Grinding of the wood wastes is performed on a routine (but not continuous) basis. A tub or another type of wood waste grinder is used. Ground wood waste is hauled offsite to be used as fuel at a co-generation plant; used as mulch, suitable for use on landfill slopes for erosion control; and used as an ADC material. The chipped waste is stockpiled adjacent to the unprocessed wood waste stockpile. The water truck is available during the grinding process to wet the materials for reduction of dust generation. Water use is limited to dust control only; no runoff is produced during application of water from the water truck.
The wood waste stockpile is located on a graded surface to promote storm water drainage towards the surface water detention basin. The amount of stockpile (both of unprocessed wood wastes and mulch) is limited, especially during the winter months, to reduce the occurrence of rainwater contact with the organic materials.
Appliances, other white goods and miscellaneous metals are accepted. The white goods are placed in 40 CY boxes and hauled offsite on an intermittent basis. Refrigeration units containing freon are piled separately until the freon is removed and the unit certified by a licensed technician before being shipped off-site to the scrap metal yard.
All surface water drainage from the metals or wood waste stockpile area is directed to a storm water detention basin. Testing of the accumulated storm water in the detention basin is in accordance with the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.
Approximately 18% of the influent waste stream at Chicago Grade Landfill is recycled.
Recycled products include:
The recycled products are stockpiled at the landfill in accordance with applicable provisions of the Uniform Fire Code until it is economic to haul offsite (wood and metal waste), or ground onsite for reuse (wood waste and tires). Sludge is applied immediately to slopes and disced into the soils. Freon is removed from refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners prior to transport offsite.
Several recycle bins are placed at the front gate for use by the public. These bins are hauled offsite for sorting and recycling. Tires, whole or shredded, are hauled offsite when economics allow. Otherwise, tires are shredded onsite and used as daily cover or for engineering purposes such as around a gas collection pipe or as a drainage layer.
The facility location minimizes many potential public health concerns commonly associated with waste disposal sites. By having a large buffer between the waste prosessing activities and neighboring residents. As well as utilizing the latest enviromental monitoring procedures. The location is relatively remote, surrounded by a large buffer area of low-density agricultural properties, and is contained within a canyon. The facility is designed to minimize the propagation or harborage of flies, rodents or other vectors and the creation of nuisances related to waste disposal. Minimizing ponded water and covering the waste each night minimize the harborage and propagation of flies and mosquitoes.
Two lined waste management units have been installed at the site with a leachate collection and removal system (LCRS). Future horizontal expansions will also have composite base liners and LCRSs. The lined cells essentially eliminate the potential for surface or groundwater impairment. (There has never been a casse of a leak in a landfill when constructed to current liner standards) Four sediment basins have been constructed onsite to control surface water discharge from the site.
The Chicago Grade Landfill has not had problems with nuisance or health factors. This is, in part, because of the relative remote location of the site, the containment of noise within the canyon, the lack of certain types of vectors (seagulls) and the large buffer area of low-density agricultural property that surrounds the site.
Noise - Vehicles are equipped with noise reduction devices (mufflers) in accordance with state and local standards for safety.
Odors - Odors are controlled by proper compaction of the solid waste and providing daily cover. No indications of any complaints regarding odors at the landfill have been identified during the previous nine (9) years.
Litter - Litter is controlled by placement of temporary fencing or portable litter fences downwind from the working face, if necessary. The fencing, the operational area, and the site in general is policed at least weekly to pick up any accumulated litter.