Solid Waste Sites and Facilities
What are solid waste sites and facilities?
Solid waste facilities are places where household garbage and other types of waste are collected, processed, or stored. These include landfills, transfer stations, and composting facilities. The waste can come from homes, industry or commercial sources. Most of these operations require permits. The communities near solid waste facilities are usually home to poor and minority residents.
Why is this indicator included in CalEnviroScreen?
- Regulated facilities as well as illegal sites that do not follow the law can harm the environment and expose people to hazardous chemicals.
- Solid waste facilities can release toxic gases into the air, even after they are closed.
- Chemicals in waste can leach into the soil around the facility. These chemicals may eventually pose a health risk to people nearby.
- Composting, recycling and waste treatment facilities may produce odors, attract pests, and increase local truck traffic.
How are solid waste sites and facilities measured in CalEnviroScreen?
- CalRecycle maintains information on solid waste facilities in California.
- Each solid waste facility was given a value based on its type, how much waste it handles, and whether there were violations. Closed, illegal, and abandoned disposal sites were also included.
- The values for all the solid waste facilities in or near each census tract were added together. This takes into account how close the facilities are to where people live.
- A complete description of the Solid Waste Sites and Facilities indicator can be found in the CalEnviroScreen 3.0 report.
Where can I find more information about solid waste facilities?
- CalRecycle: Solid Waste Facilities, Sites and Operations
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9: Management of Municipal Solid Waste in California