The Planning Commission on Thursday afternoon approved an expansion of the Cold Canyon Landfill on Highway 227 south of San Luis Obispo. The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Dan O’Grady dissenting.
The project will be phased in, and will increase the landfill’s "footprint" disposal area by 46 acres, up from 88 acres, and the tonnage allowed to 2,050 from 1,620 daily. It also will create a new entrance and scale house one-quarter mile south of the currententrance.
None of this will happen quickly. Construction is not expected to begin for two years. Some aspects of the landfill, such as the current hours, will stay in place longer than that before eventually expanding, and the changes to Highway 227 required to create a new left-turn lane won’t take place for at least 10 years.
Cold Canyon's operators have estimated that seven years of capacity remain, and possibly less. Once built, the landfill could operate for an additional 25 years.
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Planning Commissioner Carlyn Christiansen called the landfill “extremely important to residents and business.” It is the only landfill south of the Cuesta Grade, and it provides a disposal site for trash created by residents from Ragged Point to Nipomo, including San Luis Obispo and other cities. There are two landfills in the North County.