Puente Hills Materials Recovery Facility Fact Sheet

LOCATION

The Puente Hills Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is located at 2808 Workman Mill Road in the City of Whittier, next to the Puente Hills Landfill in unincorporated Los Angeles County. This location is approximately 14 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, southeast of the intersection of the Pomona Freeway (SR-60) and the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) as shown on the map. Direct freeway access to the Puente Hills MRF is provided by the Crossroads Parkway on and off ramps from SR-60. The Puente Hills MRF and the Puente Hills Landfill share the existing landfill access road on Crossroads Parkway, less than one-quarter of a mile from the Crossroads Parkway on and off ramps. Refuse collection vehicles will not be able to access the Puente Hills MRF from Workman Mill Road.

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT

The Puente Hills MRF is owned and operated by the Sanitation Districts. The purpose of the Puente Hills MRF is to provide waste diversion and publicly-owned transfer capacity for Los Angeles County. This facility helps Los Angeles County meet the 50 percent diversion rate required under California law while providing for cost effective transfer of municipal solid waste to landfills using transfer trucks or rail. Load requirements at the Puente Hills MRF support that diversion goal.

The project is located on approximately 25 acres and is comprised of the processing building, administrative offices, scales, parking, and maintenance areas.  The processing building is approximately 215,000 square feet and approximately 55 feet tall. Waste is delivered to the Puente Hills MRF in collection trucks, which discharge their loads inside of the enclosed processing building.  Recyclable materials including various grades of paper and cardboard are recovered through a combination of manual and mechanical methods.  Residual waste is placed into large capacity trailers for transfer to permitted landfills. Currently, residual waste from the Puente Hills MRF is hauled to landfills in trucks. When the Sanitation Districts' Waste-by-Rail system becomes operational, it is projected that residual waste from the Puente Hills MRF will be loaded into rail containers and delivered to the Puente Hills Intermodal Facility for transfer to remote landfills via rail (Waste-By-Rail Program).

CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION

The Puente Hills MRF began operation in July 2005. The facility is permitted to accept 4,400 tons per day and 24,000 tons per week of municipal solid waste.  The receipt of liquid or hazardous waste is not allowed. Click here for the schedule of rates. Waste processing, recovery, and handling operations at the Puente Hills MRF are permitted to take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, the operating permits allow for inbound and outbound shipments 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. However, the the Sanitation Districts is currently limiting the hours that the Puente Hills MRF is open for receipt of refuse from 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL FEATURES

The Sanitation Districts employs several environmental control systems to eliminate or minimize potential impacts on the environment and surrounding areas. These measures include:

  • Dust and Litter Control - The Puente Hills MRF is designed and operated to minimize the creation, emission, and accumulation of dust, particulates, and litter. Measures to control dust at the Puente Hills MRF include a water misting system inside the facility to remove dust and particulates from the air, sweeping of the access roads and parking lots, and requiring customers to cover their loads.

  • Odor Control - The processing building is designed with a limited number of doors, and the entrance and exit doors are at right angles to one another in order to contain odors and prevent a “wind tunnel” effect.  The refuse loadout area, where the residual waste is loaded into trailers, is located at the back of the building, which is at the furthest distance away from any neighbors.  All loads are discharged from trucks and processed only in the enclosed building, which is equipped with rapid open/close doors.  Excessively odorous loads are not accepted at the facility.  Additionally, the Puente Hills MRF is designed to exhaust potentially odorous air as far away from adjacent properties as possible.  Air is drawn into the building from the vents on the side of the building and exhausted through roof fans located primarily at the back of the building.  Roof fans over potentially odorous areas are ringed with stainless steel tubing with nozzles to distribute odor neutralizing chemicals into the exhaust air.
  • Illegally Deposited Wastes - The Sanitation Districts continuously monitor the unloading and processing areas for the presence of illegally deposited hazardous, toxic, or infectious wastes.  Additionally, detectors located at the inbound weigh scales screen every load of incoming waste for radioactivity.  The Sanitation Districts also instituted a load checking program consisting of a random selection of at least one load each day for a thorough search. If unacceptable wastes are found, they will be transferred to appropriate off-site disposal facilities.  Any hauler who delivers unacceptable waste will be charged for the cost of properly disposing of the waste and may face suspension or loss of disposal privileges.  This program acts as a strong deterrent for illegal disposal of wastes.  To minimize the amount of hazardous waste coming to the facility, the Sanitation Districts and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works jointly sponsor weekly household hazardous waste collection days, offered free of charge to the public.

  • Green Building Design - In addition to designing the facility to blend in with surrounding land uses, environmentally friendly design features and materials were used during construction.  High efficiency air conditioning systems and lighting, installation of over 500 skylights, and the use of occupancy sensors minimize electricity use.  Reclaimed water is used for site irrigation and in employee restrooms to reduce potable water use.  Recycled materials were used throughout the project from structural and reinforced steel to water closet partitions, carpeting, insulation, and ceiling tiles.

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For further information contact:

Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County
Solid Waste Department
1955 Workman Mill Road
P.O. Box 4998
Whittier, California 90607
(562) 908-4288, extension 6056