The Olinda Landfill is situated in unincorporated Orange County immediately west of the northern portion of Chino Hills State Park in Carbon Canyon.
- This ridgetop landfill at the top of Valencia Avenue near Brea is a visible scar on the hills, so much so that it can be seen on satellite images from space.
- This is one of three sites operated by the County of Orange Integrated Waste Management Department (IWMD). Its operation was extended another eight years. It will now close in 2021.
- In exchange for “hosting” this landfill and putting up with the negative impacts associated with it, Brea has been allocated a package worth $30 million in mitigation money.
- IWMD extended the operation of Olinda Landfill, until 2021 when it is scheduled to reach capacity. The increased capacity has been made possible by new technology which has allowed them to more efficiently compact the trash using satellite-guided equipment.
- IWMD will expand the footprint of the landfill only onto property they already own at the site. Therefore the increased capacity with be mostly vertical.
Brea and IWMD have finalized an agreement whereby Brea will receive approximately $30 million as mitigation for impacts associated with hosting the landfill.
- Brea is now planning to use this funding source for general fund support instead of as mitigation for landfill impacts.
Relationship to the Corridor
This landfill property lies west of, and immediately adjacent to, Chino Hills State Park in Carbon Canyon in unincorporated Orange County. Upon closure current plans call for restoring it as native habitat and using it as a passive park.
View a map of the Olinda Landfill Expansion.
Resource Values at risk
There are currently no resource values of this property itself but upon closure, if properly restored to native habitat, it is situated as a good connector between Chino Hills State Park and protected lands to the west in Tonner Canyon and beyond.
- Conflicting Views of Landfill's Future
Opening in 1960, Olinda Landfill’s operation and footprint have been expanded and extended several times since then. The original vision called for the landfill to extend all the way into Carbon Canyon just west of Olinda School.
In the mid 1970s, Brea proposed the 1,100 acre Brea-Olinda Wilderness Park on the same land IWMD wanted for the landfill and initiated efforts to use federal Land and Water Conservation Funds to acquire the land.
- Battle Over Land Use Ensues
In order to thwart Brea’s effort to establish a park, IWMD “condemned” 160 acres of land owned by Shell Oil, declaring they needed it for a “borrow site.” They planned to use the dirt to cover the landfill each night and then use the “hole” they created to expand the landfill.
Meanwhile Chino Hills State Park was growing piece by piece with the support of Republican Assembly member Ross Johnson. He specifically earmarked funding for the “Brea Olinda Wilderness Park” aka the “1,100 acres.”
Eventually Brea’s efforts to save the land won out. In 1996, 1,000 acres was acquired by the state, at a discounted price and added to Chino Hills State Park as mitigation for the Vista del Verde project in Yorba Linda.
- Dump Expands in Early 1990s, Brea Wins Concessions
When IWMD wanted to expand the landfill in the early 1990s, Brea was able to
achieve significant concessions:
- Further expansions would require Brea’s consent;
- Brea would receive over $10 million to be used for the building of a Sports Park; and
- The IWMD would turn its 160 acre acquisition over to OC Parks.
- HFE's Position
Hills For Everyone’s position on the 2006 Olinda Landfill expansion was as follows:
- Recognize that due to economic and political realities, landfills in Southern California rarely close before reaching capacity.
- Oppose a new access road in Tonner Canyon as duplicative, economically wasteful, and irreparably damaging to the long term bi-partisan regional effort to protect the remaining undeveloped hills.
- Oppose further acquisition of land at the Olinda Landfill by Orange County IWMD beyond the current ownership for future use as landfill borrow or fill sites.
- Support increased mitigation and enforcement for trash truck impacts along Valencia Avenue.
- Support creation of a transfer station or other steps, to eliminate traffic from individual trash haulers.
- Endorse adequate mitigation to cope with the negative impacts of hosting a landfill.
- Support establishment of a mitigation fund for acquisition of open space and other appropriate measures related to landfill impacts.
Olinda Landfill Expansion Plans (746 KB - PDF)