La Paz County also plans to develop nearby property for biofuel and recycling industries.
The La Paz County (Arizona) Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in a special meeting on Sept. 16, 2013, to enter into an agreement with Republic Services to operate its county-owned landfill under a ten-year agreement that they say provides a strong marketing role for the municipality and its rail partners. Signaling their intent to aggressively enter the waste by rail market, La Paz County Supervisors also signed an agreement with the Commerce Refuse to Energy Authority a Los Angeles County-based renewable energy generator, making this customer their first rail contract.
Both agreements signal a new partnership approach that combines the strengths of a municipally owned landfill with a proven rail operator and a strong environmental company, according to the supervisors. With more than one hundred million tons of available airspace and a nearby rail siding with permitted right-of-way to the site, these new agreements are expected to boost economic development opportunities in the region. Greenfield Logistics will provide all of the necessary rail and truck transportation equipment and interface with the nation’s Class 1 railroads to provide complete transportation options for La Paz County’s waste customers.
Chairman of the Board of La Paz County Supervisors D.L. Wilson stated, “Our intent is to create a legal mechanism to provide more marketing control with the tools necessary to realize the landfill’s potential as a major rail player while at the same time, not create any risks to the county’s environment or financial stability.”
La Paz County Supervisors say they plan to secure municipal, commercial and industrial waste customers throughout the Western United States. In addition to the Los Angeles transload site near downtown Los Angeles, La Paz County has access through Greenfield Logistics to a rail transload facility to service the San Francisco region. Greenfield Logistics will provide all transload operations including managing containers, dray activities and logistical support for the movement of various waste streams being targeted.
The La Paz County Landfill, located on Highway 95, is considered a valuable asset due to its ample disposal capacity, proximity to urban centers and geographic characteristics. According to the supervisors, quantifiable costs savings and environmental advantages of transitioning what traditionally has been a special waste, long-haul trucking disposal destination to a rail based system can be realized.
Supervisor Holly Irwin commented on the successful outcome of the proposal process that started last year and resulted in several proposals. She stated, “La Paz County has a very small property tax base with only 5 percent of privately owned land. The Board of Supervisors needs to relieve our taxpayers of their burden by developing outside revenue streams by teaming with smart, financially capable companies that have a track record of creating successful ventures.”
Supervisor King Clapperton said, “The RFP process has resulted in the selection of Republic Services who provided an excellent financial package and appreciates that the landfill is one of the best assets that the county has in our arsenal to improve our financial condition.”
The deal is worth more than $8 million to La Paz County and includes both cash payments and services related to operating eight local transfer facilities, recycling programs, constructing new septage-receiving facilities at the landfill and other programs that benefit the community.
La Paz County plans to solicit municipal, commercial and industrial customers for the landfill while seeking proposals from complementary industries to site in La Paz County to take advantage of the ample disposal capacity and available property. Industries being solicited include tire and liquid waste processors, biofuel companies and other manufacturing entities that seek a favorable business development atmosphere. These additional industries are expected to increase host fees and help create jobs.