Operations

Materials Accepted

Kirby Canyon Landfill accepts municipal solid waste (MSW) from commercial haulers and the public for recycling and disposal.  Each load of material is measured or weighed and specific information about its origin is documented.  Daily report of the total tonnage and types of materials received are provided to the Local Enforcement Agency (City of San Jose). Kirby’s permits strictly regulate the type and amount of materials that can be received.  Liquid waste and hazardous waste such as paints and household cleaners are not accepted.

Load Checks

All public loads are inspected and documented at the Scale House to ensure unacceptable materials are not delivered to the landfill.  If unacceptable items are identified, the load will be rejected.  Staff can provide a list of proper disposal facilities for  unacceptable wastes.

Recycling

Kirby accepts and recycles the following materials:

  • Concrete and asphalt
  • Yard trimmings
  • Clean soil

Landfilling

Materials that cannot be diverted for recycling are disposed at the working face of the landfill.  The modern landfill cell is engineered to protect the environment.  It features state-of-the-art liners, leachate collection, groundwater monitoring and extensive landfill gas collection and control systems.

Throughout the day, heavy equipment operators crush and compact the waste into the disposal cell.  This process forms a tightly packed layer of waste, reduces settlement and conserves landfill space.  At the end of each day, bulldozers spread a layer of compacted soil or alternative cover (such as sludge mixed with wood waste) over the exposed garbage.  This daily cover, required by law, keeps the waste in place, deters scavenging by animals, helps repel rainwater and minimizes odors.

Gas Collection

Landfill gas is a natural bi-product of landfills. It is produced by the decomposition of organic matter placed in the landfill. Landfill gas is primarily composed of methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Kirby Canyon collects the gas through an extensive network of wells and pipelines and destroys it by burning the gas in a flare at temperatures in excess of 1,450° F.

Waste Management utilizes US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) approved Tunable Diode Laser (TDL) technology to document landfill gas capture rates. According to the USEPA, the typical industry capture rate is about 75%. This technology determined that Kirby Canyon has one of the highest landfill gas capture rates in the country – in excess of 90%.