With the Benton Crossing Landfill set to close on January 1, 2023, Mammoth Disposal has been putting together plans to fill the waste-related needs that will remain.
On Wednesday, July 15, representatives from the disposal company presented plans to the Mammoth Lakes Planning and Economic Development Commission (PEDC) for upgrading their facilities on Commerce Drive to accommodate the projected increase in waste.
The PEDC was tasked with approving or denying a Use Permit, Design Review, and Variance request for the project, as well as adopting an Initial Study/Negative Declaration consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act.
Mammoth Disposal’s expansion comprises two parts: building a new transfer station at 59 Commerce Drive and relocating the buyback center to 264 Commerce Drive while expanding recycling capabilities at that site.
Fleet maintenance operations would also be moved to 59 Commerce Drive.
The transfer station would sort, compact, and consolidate waste on-site before loading it onto long-haul trucks and sending it to a landfill. The whole entire process from drop-off to landfill will take 48 hours.
All waste collected at the transfer station will be sent to a landfill in Fallon, NV.
That facility will be open on the weekends, allowing Mammoth Disposal to send trucks six days per week.
Kim Cooke, Associate Planner for the Town of Mammoth Lakes, said that the facility is projected to receive an average of 78 tons of waste per day, with a peak capacity of 301 tons per day.
At 56 Commerce, Mammoth Disposal is proposing a 2,250 sq. ft. metal canopy, two truck scale and scale house, a 10 foot masonry wall, and access gates.
The company has also outlined a plan for 27 parking spaces at that site.
Cooke said that the new facility will be integrated into the environment and clock in below the maximum height allowance.
Landscaping will include new trees, boulders, and shrubs to provide increased screening. The existing 8 foot wall around the facility will have an additional two feet added to it, for the purposes of increased screening, limiting unauthorized access, and bear deterrence.
At 264 Commerce, there are three new proposed areas: a buyback center, a non-buyback recycling center, and a hazardous waste disposal area.
The non-public side of the facility will consist of curbside recycling, commercial unloading, cardboard recycling and re-baling, and transport.
District General Manager Glen Long said that upgrades were a “great response to the initial closing of Benton Crossing Landfill.”
Lead project engineer Dave Brown said that the work at 264 Commerce is not expected to be substantial, but simply some earthwork to bring the current infiltration system up to standards and move the existing wall up to the property line.
“It‘s a fairly simple process to move the recycling center over and make it available for folks,” Brown said.
Displaying a project timeline, Brown indicated that, in terms of pre-construction work, everything remained on schedule. The planners had penciled in the PEDC presentation for mid-July.
The main part of the grading and frame construction, he said, will begin at the end of the summer/start of fall, with a big push to get the frame up and shielded before winter rolls in.
Once that is accomplished, crews can work on the interior through the winter months.
The goal, as stated by planners and Mammoth Disposal, is to have the expanded facilities up and running by December 1, 2022.
“Keep in mind, the existing transfer station is going to keep going,” Brown said; current operations will be moved into separate halves of the space at 56 Commerce as progress on building is made.
Cooke said that there will be a flashing pedestrian indicator installed at the intersection of Commerce and Loop trail that runs along Meridian.
Commissioner Paul Chang inquired about what the changes would look like in terms of truck traffic.
Brown said that the overall increase would be 9 trips daily, adding that most trips to the facility are vehicles dropping off smaller loads.
Brown also said that all trucks will be housed at on-site parking.
The permit, variance, and review were unanimously approved by the PEDC.