Wondering about what happens to waste in your own backyard? In San Diego, much of the city's waste goes to the Miramar Landfill just off of Highway 52 at Convoy Street. According to the city of San Diego, the landfill takes in about 910,000 tons of waste each year. That's a lot of waste since the opening of the landfill in 1959!
The Miramar Landfill covers, in total, about 1,500 acres, but only the West Landfill is open right now. When you think of a landfill of this size, you might be thinking of just piles and piles of trash out in the open, but, luckily for the City of San Diego, that’s not how Miramar works.
One of the great parts about the Miramar Landfill is that it's lined with clay soil, polyethylene, and flexible plastic sheeting to keep the majority of the pollutants inside the landfill – instead of having them leach into the surrounding soil and groundwater. The landfill is also covered with a series of pipes that takes any liquid leftovers – called leachates – into a secure collection area.
What else is the Miramar Landfill doing to be less landfill-like and healthier for the environment? When areas of the landfill are full up and shut down, the city actually covers the trash and plants native plants over the landfill. This helps break down the trash underneath the plants, and, of course, helps keep the air clean and full of oxygen, since that's the main by-product of healthy, green plants.
While no one wants to have to think too much about waste in their back yard, residents of San Diego can at least rest assured that their progressive city is doing everything possible to make the landfill less of a hazard and as environmentally friendly as possible.
About Recycle San Diego
Recycle San Diego is the area’s preeminent provider of recycling services, including electronics recycling, battery recycling, ewaste drop-off and pickup services and business waste management. Recycle San Diego also offers ewaste collection events, hard drive destruction and paper shredding services. Learn more at RecycleSanDiego.org.