Riverside County’s Landfill Tarp Program Displays True Innovation
Within the Challenge Awards is the Innovation Award, a designation for a program that simply is the cream of the crop among the top entries. In this case, the cream is really trash. There are a handful of county services that touch each and every resident and trash is a big one. Managing landfill space while keeping costs in line and meeting the myriad of regulations surrounding garbage disposal is a constant balancing act. Riverside County’s waste management experts have developed a unique tarp system that daily covers the trash, as required by law, then is removed, which allows for the next day’s trash to be deposited on the previous day’s load. In most landfills, up to six inches of dirt or green-waste is used to cover the daily loads of trash.
Over the course of a year, those six inches of space ad up hundreds of feet of “airspace” that is unavailable for trash disposal. By eliminating the need for a daily dirt cover, the life of the landfill is extended, but more impressive is the fact that the county saves approximately $3 million a year.