Republic Services currently maintains eight Landfill gas-to-energy projects (LFGTE) in the State of California, and 73 total LFGTE projects nationwide. One of the largest is the Sunshine Canyon LFGTE project. This facility and the environmental engineers and scientists who manage it, personify Republic’s commitment to operational excellence in landfill management. It’s a highly engineered system that leverages the power of science and advanced technologies to protect and help regenerate the local ecosystem.
The 20-Megawatt facility is fueled by landfill gas generated and collected from Sunshine Canyon Landfill and is capable of generating enough renewable electricity to power nearly 25,000 homes. Together, we are able to provide environmental and economic opportunities to Los Angeles County and the local communities.
Sunshine Canyon Landfill restores and preserves the land around and on the landfill site, and we regenerate growth through our own tree nursery and natural conservation area. We have grown more than 20,000 oak trees from acorns onsite. More than 7,500 of those oak trees have been planted on ridges and in open space surrounding Sunshine Canyon. In addition, Republic has donated more than 900 acres of woodland and grassland areas around the landfill, creating numerous preserves and recreational areas:
- We are creating more than 40 acres of wetlands, riparian and wildlife habitat at Chatsworth Nature Preserve
- West of Sunshine Canyon, we dedicated 426 acres to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for permanent open space, and park and recreational uses
- At Upper Bee Canyon, we purchased 490 acres and immediately transferred ownership to the County of Los Angeles, which will transfer it to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for permanent open space, and park and recreational use
- We granted 80 acres of easements for hiking trails along the perimeter of Sunshine Canyon and in East Canyon, Bee Canyon and Weldon Canyons, and gave $50,000 to the County to acquire trail access into East Canyon
- We restored a stream zone from Balboa to the property line of the North Valley Jewish Center, off Rinaldi at Bull Creek. To bring the creek back to its natural state, non-native and invasive plants were replaced with native species
- Our bird control program humanely controls seagulls and other birds, using trained falcons and hawks to prevent them from becoming a nuisance to neighbors, a violation of the regulations and a contributor to any form of potential contamination
The liquids generated at the landfill are reused for dust control. Because we use 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of water per day, reclamation prevents this water from being wasted and saves money, lowering the costs of operating Sunshine Canyon Landfill.
We use extensive fences to control windblown litter. Sunshine Canyon Landfill regularly uses only one side of the landfill at a time, which improves air quality by having smaller and fewer areas exposed to wind. We control landfill gas, use water and soil sealants to reduce dust from earthmoving and disposal activities, and many refuse trucks are converting to compressed natural gas fuel to reduce emissions. To address public concerns, Sunshine Canyon conducts required quarterly air monitoring to measure dust and diesel particulate levels at Van Gogh Elementary School, the closest school to the landfill, and the site.