Supervisors Approve 56-Day Solution to Odors Affecting La Quinta Trilogy Residents

News Release


Apr 23

Supervisors Approve 56-Day Solution to Odors Affecting La Quinta Trilogy Residents

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside County Board of Supervisors today approved a plan brought forth by Board Chairman and Fourth District Supervisor John J. Benoit to start a two-month expedited operation to remove the foulest-smelling material at Cal Bio-Mass, a Thermal-based organic material recycling company.

The facility has been the source of serious odor problems affecting Trilogy residents in south La Quinta since November 2011. The agreement represents a cooperative closure plan between Riverside County Waste Management Department and California Bio-Mass, Inc.

“We have come up with a solution to odors that have bothered Trilogy residents for too long,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “This agreement removes the most odiferous materials in a short timeframe, while increasing efficiency at the county’s landfill. It also represents a potential savings to the county by reducing the likelihood that taxpayers would end up underwriting an expensive, time-consuming clean-up and possible litigation.”

The clean-up work will begin next Monday, April 29, and will continue for a maximum of 56 days. Crews will work 12 hours a day, Monday through Saturday to mix, load and deliver material from Cal Bio-Mass to the county’s Oasis landfill. The material will come from piles that contain liquid grease trap waste which Riverside County and the South Coast Air Quality Management District have determined as the likely source of the foul odor complaints. Cal Bio-Mass ceased accepting all grease and grease water in October 2012.

After the most odiferous piles are removed within 56 days, the remaining material at the Cal Bio-Mass site will be removed within 90 days thereafter. By that date, according to the agreement signed by Cal Bio-Mass, they will clean the site and cease all operations.

The bulk of the Cal Bio-Mass material will be used as alternative daily cover (ADC), which is added on top of landfills at the end of each day. The use of this material as ADC results in the use of significantly less dirt for cover, increasing the operational efficiency of the Oasis landfill and creating additional disposal capacity.

As part of the agreement, Riverside County will waive the tipping fee revenue to accept the Cal Bio-Mass material. Cal Bio-Mass and the Riverside County Waste Management Department will supply the equipment and labor to mix and load the material into trucks supplied by Burrtec Waste Industries, who will transport the material to the landfill.

In total, approximately 54,000 tons of material containing ground green and woody waste, trash and grease waste will be moved.

At a meeting with residents at La Quinta Trilogy on March 8th, Supervisor Benoit outlined the proposed plan and the anticipated timetable. He warned residents that some days during the operation, the smell could be as bad as they have suffered through so far, especially when wind conditions were most unfavorable from the south and east. Benoit asked residents whether they wanted an accelerated schedule or a slower pace that might cause less noxious smells on some days.

“The residents said full speed ahead and get moving as soon as possible,” Benoit said. “The ingenuity by our county staff at Waste Management and the assistance of Cal Bio-Mass and Burrtec has facilitated a solution to this issue. We will work as diligently as possible to get this moving quickly and to complete the work on schedule.”

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