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Dump expansion delayed

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Members of the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission decided to hold off on a final decision regarding a proposal to expand the Cold Canyon Landfill.

Located a few miles south of the city of SLO, the landfill has been in operation since 1965. Despite modifications to permits allowing the landfill to receive and process solid waste, it’s expected to reach capacity by 2018, under the conditions of its 1991 permit, which allows the facility to accept up to 1,200 tons of waste per day on about 88 acres, according to a county staff report.

Landfill operators have asked to expand the existing facility by 46 acres, increase the allowable material processing by 430 tons per day, increase the operating hours, and make other related expansions.

But residents who live near the landfill have raised complaints and concerns about smell, noise, traffic, and even the influx of seagulls. One of the primary opponents, Bruce Falkenhagen, believes the landfill wasn’t meant to be the primary disposal site for the county and, in fact, that there are better locations.

“The landfill had 20 years to come up with a better site, and didn’t,” he wrote in a letter to the county.

Planning commissioners held one hearing on June 14 and met again on June 28, but ultimately decided they need more time to go over the individual conditions of approval surrounding the proposed expansion.

The item is scheduled to come back before commissioners July 12 and again on Aug. 9.

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