HomeCity NewsGlendale Forecasts Scholl Canyon Closure Delay

Glendale Forecasts Scholl Canyon Closure Delay

The Scholl Canyon landfill closure is now expected to be complete in mid-to-late 2027 — instead of the previously projected estimate of December 2025 — due to loss of revenue and waste tonnage, Assistant Director of Public Works Dan Hardgrove informed City Council March 12.
The City Council first pledged in September 2022 to close Scholl Canyon, though talks of closing the landfill have been underway for decades. At the time of the vote, the landfill had been receiving an average of 1,400 tons of waste per day. In 2023, this average dropped to 1,069 tons per day.
For the 2022-23 fiscal year, the landfill revenue was $11.2 million. The current year FY 2023-24 is forecasted at $9.6 million, and then $9.2 million annually in the subsequent years until closure.
The Los Angeles County Sanitation District said it sees this decrease due in part to progress in regionwide waste diversion efforts, such as Senate Bill 1383 which requires counties to put systems in place for organic waste recycling compost.
Councilman Ara Najarian underscored this point.
“Paradoxically it’s our efforts to reduce waste stream — the plastic bans, [etc.] — and we encourage residents to reduce their waste stream as much as possible, which is leading to this 30% reduction in average daily deposit that is causing it to fill up slower.”
Additionally, Scholl Canyon lost one of its regular customers, Universal Waste Systems, which now has its own waste management facility and has partially accounted for Scholl’s dip in waste collection.
Another driving factor is the increase in the fee associated with disposing waste at Scholl, which was $61 per ton in 2022, but has jumped to $95 currently, leading to a loss in customers.
“Tipping fee increases drove away smaller non-registered haulers from Pasadena and Glendale,” according to Hardgrove’s presentation.
City staff’s report to Council noted that these customers previously deposited about 3,000 tons per week, but that number has dropped by half in recent months.
Public commenter Jackie Gish, co-chair of Glendale Environmental Coalition, stressed the importance of closing the landfill right away.
“It really is in Glendale’s best interest to increase tonnage and therefore revenue and get to closure sooner perhaps by one of two options: increasing the waste shed or dropping prices if we are losing customers to lower-priced landfills,” Gish said.
Mayor Dan Brotman suggested city staff investigate the possibility of accepting waste from Los Angeles haulers to increase tonnage and potentially accelerate closure. He also emphasized that in Council’s original pledge, they promised to close the landfill once it reached capacity. While they estimated December 2025 for this, that was always subject to change based on economic circumstances.
“When it’s filled to capacity, [Scholl] will close,” said Brotman. “That is the commitment we made and we are sticking to it and we are going to look at ways we can accelerate.”
Councilmembers Elen Asatryan and Ardy Kassakhian emphasized their commitment to closing the landfill and the Council ultimately asked city staff to return with a report on ways to streamline the closure.
Najarian noted that there are different lenses in which to view the closure.
“The landfill, even though its life and its capacity is limited, is something that gives us a lot of not only economic benefit, but environmental benefit,” he said. “We would otherwise be placing our garbage on railcars or having it trucked out to further locations. If anything, I think we should limit our waste shed just for the city of Glendale.”
Mike Mohill, who during public comment said he lives in the Scholl Canyon area, stressed the burden the landfill is putting on those living nearby in terms of noise.
“You want the revenue [the landfill brings],” he said. “The people in Scholl Canyon want peace and quiet.”

First published in the March 23 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]