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About Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority

Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority History of Diversion Services Incorporating the Long Term Waste Management Report, Short Term Goals and the Conversion Technology Commission


Click the links below to view a summary of events for the corresponding year.


Salinas Valley Project


The Board of Directors of the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (Authority) began investigating alternatives to landfill disposal of solid waste in February 2005 with a series of study sessions. Due to the 2005 approval of a goal to achieve 75% Diversion from Landfills by 2015, the focus shifted to researching emerging technologies. This goal was reaffirmed by the Board as one of the Strategic Objectives adopted in August 2010. Integral to this process was the completion of a Waste Composition Study in 2007 which defines the Authority waste stream and allows for the implementation of diversion programs specific to the types of waste that can be effectively recycled. Only the waste which cannot be separated or reclaimed is proposed as feedstock for a transformation technology.

The four-member Conversion Technology Commission (Commission) was formed following the determination that a non-combustion based technology would be preferred, as well as the suspension of further investigation on the properties identified for a future landfill site. The goal of the Commission is to identify the best and most effective conversion technology(ies) applicable to the Salinas Valley.

The Commission visited both aerobic and anaerobic composting facilities, materials recovery facilities, the UC Davis biodigester, autoclave facilities, gasification plants in California and Japan, a methane to electricity generation plant, waste to energy plants, and a plasma arc gasification facility in Canada.

Following the Statement of Qualifications and Requests for Proposals process initiated in January 2008, three proposals were extensively reviewed and ranked based on these goals and objectives:

  • Maximize diversion
  • Comparable gates fees
  • Reduce impact on climate change 
  • Organics composting or Anaerobic digestion
  • Education Center
  • Separate, recycle or reuse materials
  • Financially self sustaining
  • Public-private partnership

Since November 2009, staff has been in discussion with the two top ranked vendors, Plasco Energy and Urbaser S.A. to define the projects proposed as the cornerstone of the Authority transition of the Johnson Canyon Landfill into a Resource Management Park.

Questions or Comments?
Click here to submit any questions or comments regarding Conversion Technology.