This community opinion was contributed by resident John Bessa. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
Waste Solutions LLC San Benito, the management company of the John Smith Landfill, is proposing to San Benito County officials and citizens to greatly increase the capacity of the landfill. In my opinion this is an ill-considered plan.
Local newspaper reporting indicates that currently 78% of the John Smith Landfill daily garbage tonnage is from other counties.
There are consequences for allowing landfill expansion. Waste Solutions is seeking to expand the current footprint of the landfill from 95 acres to approximately 388 acres. The impact on the surrounding communities of Heatherwood, Santana Ranch and homesites in beautiful Santa Ana Valley could be devastating to many homeowners. All of these developments are within close proximity to the current landfill site.
With expansion of the landfill, there will be the possible loss of open space vistas and wildlife habitat, along with degrading of the natural beauty of the surrounding foothills of the Diablo Mountain Range. What is gone will be gone forever.
The public deserves full transparency from county officials and from Waste Solutions LLC San Benito as to the reasons for this proposed expansion.
Without question, the quality of life and environmental costs of doing this far outweigh any economic benefits derived from this proposal.