California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 


Landfill Facility Compliance Study

The California Integrated Waste Management Board (now CalRecycle) commissioned a unique, two-phase, cross-media study of the state's municipal solid waste landfills. Phase I consisted of a comprehensive, cross-media inventory and assessment of MSW landfill performance for the time period from January 1998 through December 2001.

Phase II consisted of an assessment of the effectiveness of current regulatory requirements in controlling environmental impact over time.  The study is the most comprehensive inventory ever undertaken of California landfills, involving multiple regulatory agencies in measuring the overall environmental effects of solid waste disposal in California.

GeoSyntec Consultants, Inc. of Oakland, California, conducted the two-phase study, which began June 2000 and ended June 2004.

Phase I: GeoSyntec profiled 224 municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills that have accepted waste since October 9, 1993, when U.S. EPA's first comprehensive landfill standards went into effect. This initial part of the study provides an exhaustive databank on existing facilities, including the physical features of the landfills, the environmental protection systems in place, and landfill compliance with environmental requirements.

Phase II: GeoSyntec analyzed the design and operation of 53 landfills—including 13 sites that closed before 1993—and assessed the effectiveness of current regulations in controlling environmental impacts over time.  This part of the study recommends ways to improve landfill operations to ensure greater environmental protection. In formulating any recommendations for improvement, GeoSyntec reviewed regulations from selected states and countries as well as emerging waste disposal technologies, which could lead to reforms in the way California manages the 38 million tons of waste it landfills each year.

The following publications  were developed as part of this project:

Last updated: December 31, 2009
Martin Perez: (916) 323-0834