On October 4, 2016, Loren and Sue Cook attended the 6th Annual ‘Odor’ Meeting hosted by the Western Placer Waste Management Authority (WPWMA). WPWMA speakers were: Stephanie Ulmer, Keith Schmidt, and Jennifer Snyder.
Several topics were mentioned:
- There’s a one (1) mile buffer zone around the recycling/landfill plant (includes residential and commercial);
- A 2008 study which has led the way towards maximizing odor management and minimizing odors;
Other odor contributors in the area were mentioned (woodchip plant, local dairy and farm sites);
Main concentrations of concern have been towards the primary ‘odor’ sources--the green waste compost and landfill gas emissions. In 2014, they installed a compost odor monitoring system, which incorporates sampling, a dispersion modeling system, and real time odor collection sensors (including 4 electronic ‘noses’). Also, a private agency performs on-site investigations twice per month to help monitor various control measures.
A 2015 study showed the first ‘odor’ source as the composting operations (68.8%); inactive landfill gas emissions as the 2nd offender (28.3%), and active landfill area (one acre uncovered during the day) as the 3rd highest offender (2.9%).
Various measures used to contain odors includes:
- Sludge is buried immediately;
- Green-waste (collected bi-weekly in Roseville) is ground up and starts the recycling process as soon as possible upon receipt at the plant.
- Landfill gas wells were installed in 2009 which notify when attention is needed;
- Plastic liners have been installed extending up along sides of current landfill sites;
- Aeration on compost sites for water collection ponds;
- Water misting spray systems installed to neutralize compost sites, using very expensive and minimal (1 part to 500 parts water) chemicals used.
Future planning will have a ‘digester’ project at the Pleasant Grove Waste Water Treatment Plant to convert the sludge to methane gas within the next 3-5 years. The landfill site is permitted until 2058, and currently includes 400 additional acres west of Fiddyment Road.
Some concern was raised about replacing the liners in the older landfill sections where prior reports indicated materials had been leaking through into the surrounding areas. This issue had been stated as a priority at a prior public meeting. Mr. Schmidt responded that it would be a very expensive project and had been put on the back burner. However, after the meeting, Ms. Ulmer indicated they were having a budget meeting next week and would be requesting funding for that project at that time.
Ms. Snyder encouraged everyone to use the online odor notification form which can be found at the WPWMA’s website. Molly Johnson of the Placer County Air Pollution Control District was also in the audience and announced that there is an ‘odor’ report form on their website as well—www.placer.ca.gov/apcd. When an ‘odor’ report is made, conditions will be monitored and a written response will be generated indicating the factors at that time. Reporting the odor helps the agencies monitor conditions that result in the odors, so they encourage the ‘odor’ reportings from the public.