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San Luis Rey Downs removed from county's non-disposal element


Last updated 8/7/2008 at Noon

Due to permitting issues, the San Luis Rey Downs Thoroughbred Training Center has been removed from the county’s Non-disposal Facility Element which identifies solid waste facilities contributing to the reduction of solid waste in landfills.

The San Diego Association of Governments board of directors, which also serves as the Countywide Integrated Waste Management Task Force, approved 13 amendments to the Non-disposal Facility Element of the Countywide Integrated Waste Management Plan, including the deletion of San Luis Rey Downs from the Non-disposal Facility Element.

The July 25 vote would have been unanimous had two SANDAG board members not abstained due to professional conflicts of interest.

“I was sad to see that happen because we need the infrastructure in the county,” said Wayne Williams, the program manager for recycling and solid waste for the County of San Diego’s Department of Public Works. “They had a nice operation going there.”

While the composting at San Luis Rey Downs contributed to the diversion of the training facility’s waste from area landfills, the presence of flies drew a complaint from a nearby resident. That complaint prompted an inspection which included a check for various elements of compliance.

The operation itself was in compliance with regulations, but the lack of proper permitting resulted in the operation being terminated. “The permitting at that time was inadequate,” Williams said.

The manure and bedding are now being shipped to a mushroom farm in San Luis Obispo County, creating additional expense for San Luis Rey Downs.

While the waste still isn’t being sent to landfills, San Luis Rey Downs no longer has a processing operation and thus has ceased to become part of the Non-disposal Facility Element.

“It’s one of the dilemmas we have in the county with encroaching suburbia,” Williams said.

Williams noted that the county is working with San Luis Rey Downs on the possibility of resuming the processing of the facility’s solid waste.

“I hope that they are able to do that soon,” Williams said. “Mulching and composting on ag lands is really critical at this time.”

The non-disposal facility system includes material recovery facilities, transfer stations, organic processing facilities, and construction and demolition sites. More than 50 such facilities operate within the county.

The Non-disposal Facility Element also includes the Fallbrook Recycling and Transfer Station, which is operated by Fallbrook Refuse Service and has a permitted daily maximum capacity of 500 tons.

In addition to residents of unincorporated San Diego County, the Fallbrook Recycling and Transfer Station is also used by the cities of Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista.

Although residuals are trucked to landfills, diverted materials at the Aviation Road recovery, processing, and transfer facility are shipped to markets and processors.

The County of San Diego plans to use five closed landfills, including the Bonsall Landfill on Twin Oaks Valley Road, for materials recovery parks.

Organics, construction and demolition material, and other source materials would be trucked to the five sites for processing and recycling of materials.

The materials recovery action would include but not be limited to chipping and grinding, construction and demolition processing, composting, and other material recovery actions.

The Bonsall, Otay, Viejas, Ranchita, and Barrett Junction landfills would have a maximum daily tonnage of 50 tons per day and would divert approximately 75 percent of the material processed.

The proposed Envirepel facility on Shearer Crossing is listed as an organic processing facility. The proposed operation would receive wood and other green waste materials and would divert approximately 95 percent of the material received.

The Envirepel facility’s proposed maximum tonnage is 350 tons per day.

Greenspot Recycling in Rainbow does not process enough material to be subject to permitting; the Rice Canyon Road operation does not have more than 500 cubic yards of material on site at any time. The chip and grind operation has a diversion rate of approximately 95 percent.

The non-landfill construction and demolition facilities in the Non-disposal Facility Element include Romero Recycling Yard in the Lilac area. The Nelson Way facility processes only Type A inert debris and has an estimated capacity of 20,000 tons with an anticipated annual tonnage of 250,000 tons.

Romero Recycling Yard has a diversion rate of 95 percent and a permitted capacity of 1,500 tons per day, although that permitted capacity is an average daily volume.

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