Lamb canyon landfill education center now open – valley news electricity how it works

The new center, dedicated Thursday, April 18, with Marion Ashley, the 5th District Riverside County supervisor, as guest of honor, is now open to students and others interested in the way the county is working to manage the landfill and recycle some of the waste created by people.

The tarpaulin-covered education center is located high above the 150-acre landfill where visitors can see the vehicles and workers below handling the 1,500 ton of waste materials brought to the dump by waste disposal contractors and residents. More than a dozen posted informational signs are posted around the center explaining the many operations of the landfill and how thousands of tons of waste are being recycled each year.

The education center is a part of how the county is "Managing Waste for a Better Tomorrow." It seeks to use sustainability practices and encompass how people can rethink, reuse, recycle and repair, in order to reduce waste in the surrounding communities.

"We are fortunate to have this landfill," Ashley said at the opening. He said the landfill lays on 700 acres off the highway, of which 150 acres are being used currently. It will be the main place that will meet the needs of the growth of the county. The education center is going to help educate the school children and people about the need for a landfill.

The landfill already offered tours before the education center was set up and it was determined the new education center would provide a better place for visitors and tours to meet and personally see what is happening with the tons of waste being brought into the facility.

He said there are many regulations the county must meet to preserve the environment. With the Lamb Canyon Landfill, "we are in very good shape," Ashley said. He said the county is working on doing more to handle the large amount of green waste generated in the county with some being handled at Lamb Canyon.

RCDWR General Manager and Chief Engineer Hans Kemkamp at the opening said, "The current Lamb Canyon Landfill will fill up by 2033 with current trash flows, but there is significant expansion here and it will take use decades for that to fill – maybe 40 to 50 years depending upon future trash flows."

He said the new covered education center will allow smaller children and more people to visit and tour the facility "and teach people about all the assets the landfill has… most people leave here with the thought, ‘I had no idea.’ They roll their trash to the end of the driveway and that’s it."

One of the biggest changes in dump or landfill management can be seen from the new education center. Below where the trash is being dumped by large trucks, people can see sections of the waste material covered with huge 120-foot by 120-foot tarps. The tarps keep birds and other animals out while also keeping odors and gases in. It is a health and safety issue.

Heavy equipment spreads out trash brought to the Lamb Canyon Landfill off state Route 79 in Beaumont. Trash from days before remains covered by huge 120-foot by 120-foot tarps to keep out birds, animals and other vectors that create problems. The tarps replace green waste that once covered the trash but did not stay permanently.

The green waste is being recycled in other parts of the landfill. The recyclable wastes include about 32 percent organic waste or green waste, 17 percent paper, 9 percent plastic, 4 percent metal, 1 percent glass and less than 1 percent for electronic or e-waste.

In addition, RCDWD has other programs and services designed to extend the service life of the landfills, protect the environment and manage waste of a better tomorrow. They include green cleaning; community cleanups; backyard composting, household hazardous waste, graffiti busters, medication disposal, sharps and needle disposal, illegal dumping, recycling together, vermicomposting and volunteer programs.