FAQ

Where is Sunshine Canyon Landfill located?

Sunshine Canyon Landfill is located in Sylmar, California. Sunshine Canyon Landfill is a major component of Los Angeles County’s solid waste management plan that has helped meet the constantly growing needs of the area.

What is the phone number for the Sunshine Canyon Landfill?

Please call us at (818) 362-2124.

When is the landfill open for business?

Sunshine Canyon Landfill is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. The landfill is closed on Sunday and major holidays.

Can I take a tour of the landfill?

Yes. We take great pride in what we do and encourage as many people as possible to tour our facility. Please contact our office at (818) 362-2124 to arrange a time for your tour.

How big is the landfill?

Sunshine Canyon Landfill is located on 1,036 acres and has a waste disposal area of 363 acres.

Why do we need a landfill?

A landfill in Los Angeles County ensures adequate competition among waste service companies. This translates to lower rates for waste collection and disposal services. Many counties that do not have landfills pay much higher rates for waste services.

Is the landfill really important to our community?

Absolutely! The landfill is an integral part of the local economy. It provides jobs for local residents and affordable waste disposal options for residents and businesses. Republic Services also supports the local economy by spending millions annually in goods and services. In addition, the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County receive a share of the revenue collected from operation on either side of the joint city/county landfill, as determined by the revenue-sharing agreement between the two jurisdictions. This all equates to jobs and much-needed revenue for local and state economies.

How much waste is disposed of at the landfill?

Sunshine Canyon Landfill accepts approximately 8,300 tons of waste daily, and one ton equals 2,000 lbs. We receive 500-600 truckloads of waste per day. That equals approximately 45,000 tons of waste per week or 2.4 million tons of waste annually.

Where does the waste originate?

The waste disposed of at Sunshine Canyon Landfill is generated at homes and businesses from Los Angeles County.

What types of wastes are accepted at the landfill?

Non-hazardous solid waste from residential and commercial establishments (municipal solid waste) is accepted. All hazardous and liquid wastes are prohibited from disposal at Sunshine Canyon as are many other waste types including untreated medical waste, car batteries, and whole tires. Republic has developed an extensive prohibited waste plan, which outlines procedures to ensure that prohibited waste is not brought into the landfill.

What environmental protection systems are in place?

There are many environmental protection systems at Sunshine Canyon Landfill, including but not limited to, the following:

  • Landfill Liner: Sunshine Canyon has a lined waste disposal area. This liner system meets the requirements of local, state, and federal regulations. The site is required to construct a double liner system. Our liner system is thoroughly tested and inspected during construction to ensure all regulatory requirements are met.
  • Rainwater Collection: Rainwater, which does not touch any waste, must also be managed appropriately. Storm water runoff is collected and contained in a detention pond, which allow soil particles to be removed from the water before it is discharged to a nearby waterway.
  • Groundwater Monitoring: There are 18 groundwater monitoring wells at the site which are monitored. Groundwater samples are collected and analyzed on a quarterly basis and a report submitted to the state
  • Gas collection: Once trash is disposed of, it naturally decomposes and produces gas. A landfill gas management system collects gas through a series of pipes and more than 500 gas wells. The system is monitored in accordance with local, state and federal requirements.

Are there any sustainability measures in place at the landfill?

Yes! Over 20,000 oak trees have been grown at the landfill’s onsite nursery and planted on more than 900 acres of woodland and grassland areas near the landfill. In addition, Sunshine Canyon Landfill partners with Sunshine Gas Producers to operate a landfill gas-to-energy project capable of producing 20 MW of electricity, providing power to 25,000 homes in the community.

Who permits and inspects the facility?

The facility is permitted by multiple agencies including CalRecycle, Los Angeles County, City of Los Angeles, South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board.  The Sunshine Canyon Landfill Local Enforcement Agency (SCL LEA) is the primary agency that provides the regulatory permitting, enforcement, and operational compliance oversight.

How do you manage the bird issues?

Sunshine Canyon Landfill has a bird control program to proactively and humanely control seagulls. This prevents them from becoming a nuisance and potential health hazard to site workers, users and neighboring residents.

What additional steps are taken to ensure that the landfill is a good neighbor?

Proper daily operations are critical to environmentally sound waste disposal. Therefore, all employees at Sunshine Canyon Landfill are trained to handle incoming waste in the most environmentally responsible manner. Access to the site is limited to one entrance/exit. The facility records and tracks all waste shipments with gate receipts and a network of video cameras. Each load of waste is visually inspected to ensure that only permitted materials are accepted for disposal. At the end of each working day, compacted soils are placed over the waste to contain odor and prevent any nuisance. Steps are also taken to control dust and litter. Periodic watering of access roads prevents dust from rising when trucks travel in and out of the landfill. A sweeper is used to keep onsite roadways clean. Litter is minimized by limiting the size of the active disposal area, applying daily cover and using fencing on windy days to catch blowing materials. Landfill personnel collect wind-blown litter.

How do you control odors?

Odors are controlled with good operational programs and an effective landfill gas management system. Landfill personnel conduct routine odor inspections intended to prevent off-site odor or deal with odor as quickly as possible once detected. The landfill continuously upgrades the landfill gas management system. Additionally, we use a misting system to assist with odor control. Any reports of odors can be made directly to the landfill by calling (800) 926-0607.

What is the life expectancy of the landfill?

The life expectancy varies depending on the volume of waste received for disposal. However, the current remaining capacity will provide disposal until approximately the year 2037.

What will happen when Sunshine Canyon stops being used as a landfill?

After the landfill closes, site systems, including the groundwater and gas systems, will be monitored for a 30-year post-closure period. Inspections will be conducted on a routine basis to ensure the landfill cover and vegetation is maintained. Sunshine Canyon will become a natural open space and natural habitat consistent with areas surrounding the landfill. Sunshine Canyon will also continue to be a source of renewable energy for years to come.

How long does something take to breakdown in a landfill?

Aluminum cans: 500 years
Glass bottles: 1,000 years
Plastic bags: 10-20 years
Cigarette butts: 1-5 years
Tin cans: 50 years
Leather: 50 years
Orange and banana peels: 1-2 years
Plastic bottles and Styrofoam: 700 years, possibly indefinitely