Community Opinions

COMMUNITY OPINION: Environmental and structural cost vs. revenue from landfill expansion

Resident Maureen Nelson writes that a cost-benefit analysis of the expansion shows it is not worth it.

This community opinion was contributed by Don’t Dump on San Benito member Maureen Nelson. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors. BenitoLink invites all community members to share their ideas and opinions. By registering as a BenitoLink user in the top right corner of our home page and agreeing to follow our Terms of Use, you can write counter opinions or share your insights on current issues.

Don’t Dump on San members and concerned citizens will be providing a series of articles highlighting sections of the EIR, citizens concerns, and information on how San Benito County residents can get involved.

The John Smith Road Landfill (JSRL) property was donated to the county in 1968 and opened for waste disposal in 1969. Throughout this time period, San Benito County has averaged less than 240 tons of disposed in-county waste per day  (1969-September 2022). During this timeframe, the landfill operator (Waste Solutions Group) and San Benito County Board of Supervisors has increased the daily tonnage limits from 500 tons to 1,000 tons in 2010 while increasing the acceptance of out-of-county waste. Currently, Waste Solutions Group is requesting a massive landfill increase to 2,300 daily tons. Again, San Benito County only disposes less than 240 tons per day with an estimated increase over the next decade to less than 300 tons per day. There is no need to expand our current landfill tonnage to meet the “growing” population and demands of future San Benito County residents and businesses.

The justification provided by the SBC Board of Supervisors for accepting out-of-county trash and for the proposed expansion of the JSRL is due to the County’s need for revenue. Is dirty, potentially toxic waste being transported in 20 ton-heavy trucks on our local roadways from five outside counties the financial panacea the BOS want or envisioned for the residents of San Benito County or is it a negative money flow once the environmental and structural costs (roadway repair, greenhouse gases, water usage and contamination, etc.) are factored into the county’s cost-benefit analysis.

The citizens of San Benito County should expect the Board of Supervisors to take a full assessment of the costs to the county and its residents associated with an expansion of the JSRL and vote no on any landfill expansion.

Maureen Nelson