Commerce California Waste to Energy_292The Board of Supervisors in La Paz County, Arizona has voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with Republic Services for the operation of the huge County owned landfill under a ten-year agreement.

The County Supervisors have also signed an agreement with the Commerce Refuse to Energy Authority – a Los Angeles County which operates a waste to energy facility (pictured) in the city of Commerce, California. As such La Paz County said that it has become the facility’s first rail customer.

The county said that both agreements signal a new partnership approach that combines the strengths of a municipally owned landfill with a proven rail operator and a strong environmental company.

With more than one hundred million tons of available landfillvoid, and a nearby rail siding with permitted right of way to the site, the county said that these new agreements are expected to boost economic development opportunities in the region.

Greenfield Logistics will provide all of the necessary rail and truck transportation equipment and interface with the nation’s Class 1 railroads to provide complete transportation options for La Paz County’s waste customers.

Economic Engine

La Paz County said that it plans to secure municipal, commercial and industrial waste customers throughout the western U.S.

“our intent is to create a legal mechanism to provide more marketing control with the tools necessary to realize the landfill’s potential as a major rail player while at the same time, not create any risks to the County’s environment or financial stability,” stated chairman of the Board of La Paz County Supervisors, DL Wilson.

“County residents will not bear any fiscal responsibility for future construction of the landfill, operational expenses and liabilities related to its environmental safety while giving the Board a stronger role in maximising our asset via intergovernmental disposal relationships or other corporate alliances that will provide a significant economic expansion of the landfill’s revenue streams,” he added/

Environmental impact

According to the county, by industry standards the La Paz County Landfill on Highway 95 is considered a valuable asset due to its ample disposal capacity, proximity to urban centres and geographic characteristics.

The county went on to explain that there are quantifiable costs savings and environmental advantages of transitioning what traditionally has been a special waste, long-haul trucking disposal destination to a rail based system.

These include greater fuel efficiencies that will reduce customer costs and carbon footprint while creating less traffic congestion which has implications for the quality of life and safety concerns.

The proposal process for the transition was started last year and resulted in several proposals.

“La Paz County has a very small property tax base with only 5% of privately owned land.  The Board of Supervisors needs to relieve our taxpayers of their burden by developing outside revenue streams by teaming with smart, financially capable companies that have a track record of creating successful ventures,” explained La Paz County supervisor Holly Irwin.

According to her fellow La Paz County supervisor, King Clapperton : “At a minimum, the deal is worth over eight million dollars to La Paz County which includes both cash payments and services related to operating eight local transfer facilities, recycling programs, constructing new septage receiving facilities at the landfill and other programs that benefit the community.

Additional opportunities

La Paz County now plans to solicit municipal, commercial and industrial customers for the landfill, while seeking proposals from complementary industries to site in La Paz County to take advantage of the ample disposal capacity and available property.

Industries being solicited include tyre and liquid waste processors, biofuel companies and other manufacturing entities that seek a favourable business development atmosphere.

The county added that these additional industries are expected to increase host fees and help create jobs that introduce multiplier economic benefits locally.

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