Solid & Hazardous Waste

Solid Waste 
The California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (AB 939) was enacted to reduce, recycle, and reuse solid waste generated in the state. Specifically, the act required cities and counties to identify measures to divert 25% of the total solid waste stream from landfill disposal by the year 1995 and 50% by the year 2000. The state has continued to refine program goals and work toward preserving land resources for productive uses, not landfills.

The city's Source Reduction and Recycling Element identifies programs the city has and will continue to implement to meet waste diversion goals. These measures include curbside collection of recyclables, separation of yard and other "green" waste from non-biodegradable materials, and city purchasing practices that minimize production of excess packaging materials. Implementation of programs identified in the Source Reduction and Recycling Element and recommendations made by the Recycling Task Force will help the city to achieve its goals.

Goal Nine
Achieve and maintain a 50% reduction (from baseline year 1994) in solid waste produced by the city.
  • Policy 9.1 - Continue to implement waste reduction programs identified in the Source Reduction and Recycling Element.
  • Policy 9.2 - Maintain a city Recycling Task Force, and implement the recommendations of the Task Force as appropriate to achieve waste reduction goals.
Hazardous Waste 
Beginning in 1948, landfilling operations began at a 190-acre site in the southeast portion of the city. The site, which was made up of a north parcel and south parcel, was purchased in 1952 by Operating Industries, Inc. (OII). Construction of the Pomona Freeway in 1968 physically divided the landfill into two areas. Over the years, many different types of residential, commercial, and hazardous wastes were deposited into the landfill. In 1984, the landfill, still owned by OII, stopped accepting wastes, and the site was placed on the EPA's National Priority List two years later.

Under the authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (known as Superfund), the EPA has worked with Monterey Park and neighboring cities to develop long-term remediation for the site. Cleanup is concentrated on soil, groundwater, and leachate contamination. (Leachate forms from liquid industrial wastes as they mix with water and percolate into the soil.) Expected to continue until at least the year 2040, cleanup efforts include landfill cover and gas control systems, and specifically a leachate treatment plant and landfill gas treatment system that collects and destroys landfill gases.

The 45-acre north parcel was impacted to a much lesser degree from landfill operations than the south parcel. As a result, development of this parcel with commercial uses is possible. The Land Use Policy Map designates the north parcel as Commercial. Since the south parcel will not be fully remediated for many years, land use policy dictates that the site maintain an open space status until such time the site is considered "clean."

Goal Ten
Protect the community from soil, groundwater, and leachate contamination from the OII site.
  • Policy 10.1 - Cooperate with the EPA in efforts to remedy contamination at the south parcel and continue implementation of cleanup practices.
  • Policy 10.2 - Return the north parcel to a beneficial use by encouraging commercial development.