A state agency has filed a notice of intent to cite the operators of Sunshine Canyon Landfill for violating the minimum standard for odor control.

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery issued the notice late last week after reviewing Sunshine Canyon inspection reports for June and July.

Inspections were conducted by a local enforcement agency composed of city and county officials, who did not return telephone calls Tuesday.

The CalRecycle notice warns Republic Services, operators of Sunshine Canyon, to correct the issue within 90 days to avoid the citation.

Republic spokeswoman Peg Mulloy said the odor problem could be coming from the gas-extraction system, which collects landfill gas and burns it off to prevent it from being released into the air.

“We hired an outside firm to repair or replace gas wells,” Mulloy said. “If we didn’t do this project, there would be deterioration. We expect that to be done in October.”

The number of complaints about foul smells from the landfill jumped more than tenfold in the last few years, according to state officials.

More than 600 complaints were registered in 2010, compared to fewer than 50 in 2008.

Sunshine Canyon Landfill is one of the nation’s largest integrated waste management facilities, taking in 9,500 tons of trash daily. It is actually two adjacent landfills – one on city land, one in county jurisdiction – that merged operations in 2009.

“We understand it’s a problem and we don’t want it to be,” Mulloy said of the odor issues. “We are looking at every possible cause and then we are taking every possible action to reduce and eliminate the odors.”

Mulloy said the company discontinued taking waste from one customer that was considered a potential source of the odor. She also said the city/county permit required Sunshine Canyon to cover one of the side slopes with green waste, which may also have caused the odor.

“We stopped that practice because of the odors generated,” Mulloy said.

Meanwhile, a Sunshine Canyon Landfill-Community Advisory Committee meeting will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Knollwood Country Club, 12024 Balboa Boulevard, Granada Hills. The meeting will include officials from Sunshine, who will discuss how the odors are being mitigated.

Comments are closed.