Alameda County Fights WMX Plan To Site Square-Mile Landfill

OAKLAND, CALIF. - The battle lines have been drawn in Alameda County, Calif. In one corner is WMX Technologies, Oak Brook, Ill., and in the other, Livermore residents, ranchers, the Sierra Club, the Northern California Recycling Association (NCRA) and the Berkeley Ecology Center.

Why all the fuss? WMX is proposing to build the third-largest landfill in the nation, receiving 11,150 tons per day (tpd) to 14,000 tpd, at Altamont Pass near Livermore. The waste will be imported by truck (557 a day) and train for 67 years.

The fill has already received a use permit with only twelve days of public review and no local hearing.

"The irony," said Ruth Abbe, NCRA's president, "is that Alameda County's residents clearly prefer reducing, reusing and recycling. In fact, they already have reduced their own landfilling by 25 percent."

In 1990, 63 percent of the county's voters passed Measure D, which a-mended the county charter to set an aggressive goal of reducing garbage by 75 percent - 25 percent more than the state goal.

The county Waste Management Authority recently accepted its County Integrated Waste Management Plan, projecting that Alameda has enough landfill capacity until 2014 and will achieve its 75 percent reduction by 2010. WMX reportedly would supply extra garbage by soliciting imports from other counties and perhaps states.

If the plan is approved now, Alameda County residents could find themselves reducing their own landfilling while still haveing - for nearly seven decades - to accept garbage from communities who may not recycle.

The permit is under appeal to the county's Board of Supervisors.

Awards The Solid Waste Association of North America has announced the winners of its 1996 Excellence Award Program: Sanifill Inc., Racine, Wis.; City of Columbus, Ohio; Davis Street SMaRT Environ-mental Education Program, San Leandro, Calif.; Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County, Des Plaines, Ill.; Hamilton County Envi-ronmental Services, Cincinn-ati; S.C. Johnson Wax, Ra-cine, Wis.; City of Plano, Tex- as; City of Wauwatosa, Wis.; West Central Transfer Sta-tion, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; Elkhart County Landfill, Elk-hart, Ind.; Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority Landfill, Le-banon, Pa.; Woodland Mea-dows Recycling and Disposal Facility, Wayne, Mich.; and Union County, Rahway, N.J.

Contracts Weyerhaeuser Recycling, Tacoma, Wash., has signed a five-year contract with Nike Inc. to recycle the paper from its World Campus in Bea-verton, Ore.

Baker Environmental Inc., Pittsburgh, has received a $1.5 million contract from Beth-lehem Steel Corp. to conduct Resource Conservation and Recovery Act studies at its Burns Harbor Division in In-diana.

Name Change The Hold Company Inc., Blue Bell, Pa., recently has changed its name to Audiomax.

New Facility Dinverno Recycling, Detroit, has completed a 25,000 square foot, $1.5 million construction recycling center.

New Operation Browning Ferris Industries Inc., Hous-ton, has begun operating what are reportedly the lar-gest landfill gas-to-electricity facilities in the world. The plants are located in Min-neapolis-St. Paul and De-troit.

Partnership The U.S. En-vironmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., has recognized more than 50 organizations for their efforts to develop environmentally beneficial landfill gas-to-energy projects. Among those recognized are WMX Technologies, Oak Brook, Ill.; Browning Ferris In-dustries, Houston; HDR Inc., Omaha, Neb.; SCS Engineers, Bellevue, Wash.; and Laidlaw Waste Systems, Burlington, Ontario.

Programs The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Md., and the National Christmas Tree Association have established the 1996 Christmas Tree Recycling excellence A-ward program. Applications are available. For more information, contact Nancy Copen at SWANA, (301) 585-2898, ext. 235.

Reorganization Browning Ferris Industries Inc., Hou-ston, has reorganized its North American operating business structure to divide the continent into 13 market areas.

Web Site Jacobs Vehicle Equipment Co., Bloomfield, Conn., has established a home page on the internet: http://