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By Allison Jarrell

The San Juan Capistrano City Council voted 4-1 on April 19, with Mayor Pam Patterson opposed, to approve an amendment to the city’s 2009 waste disposal agreement with the County of Orange that increases the city’s annual revenue to more than $600,000 for hosting the Prima Deshecha landfill. San Juan, Brea and Irvine are the only three cities in the county that host landfills.

San Juan was the last city to ratify its agreement, which extends the waste disposal contract through June 30, 2025. The county’s deadline to have all cities approve the contract was April 20.

The agreement was first discussed on April 5, when the City Council continued the item due to a number of concerns related to the city hosting a landfill, including: wanting additional compensation for road maintenance costs and traffic enforcement, finding alternate trash truck routes and restricting trash truck traffic to non-peak hours.

City staff noted that once the La Pata connection opens this fall, “at least 40 waste trucks per day will be shifted from Ortega to La Pata,” in addition to an overall reduction in Ortega Highway traffic of a projected “4,000 vehicles per day in 2016.”

Staff was directed to continue discussions with the County of Orange, which resulted in the following amendments to the contract:

  • An increased per ton host fee for imported waste from $1.16 to $1.50 effective July 1, 2016. Prima Deshecha receives limited imported waste, so this results in just over $20,000 of additional revenue per year.
  • An additional $1.50 per ton host fee for in-county waste effective July 1, 2016. The city currently doesn’t receive any revenue for in-county waste, so this provides approximately $500,000 in new revenue per year.
  • $25,000 per year for environmental education

City Manager Ben Siegel said he will continue negotiations with the county for a “cooperative agreement that will provide additional compensation and potential traffic mitigation options.” The county proposed to approve such an agreement by June 2017.

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