Operations

Materials Accepted

Guadalupe Recycling and Disposal Facility accepts municipal solid waste (MSW) from commercial haulers and the public for recycling and disposal. Nearly one-half of the materials received is recycled or reused. Each load of material is measured or weighed and specific information about its origin is documented.  Guadalupe’s permits strictly regulate the type and amount of materials that can be received.  Guadalupe reports daily tonnage totals and material types to the Local Enforcement Agency (City of San Jose Department of Planning and Code Enforcement).

Load Checks

All public loads are inspected and documented at the Scale House to ensure unacceptable materials are not delivered to the landfill.  If unacceptable items are identified, the load will be rejected.  Staff can provide a list of proper disposal facilities for any unacceptable waste.

Recycling

Guadalupe accepts and recycles the following materials:

  • Concrete and asphalt
  • Yard trimmings
  • Clean soil
  • Construction & Demolition Debris
  • Scrap metals & appliances

Mulching

Guadalupe grinds clean untreated wood to create 100% recycled mulch for landscape applications.  We follow strict quality control to produce the mulch under our landscape brand, WM EarthCare.  The locally sourced and produced mulch is available at our WM EarthCare Landscape Center.  

Landfilling

Materials that cannot be diverted for recycling are disposed at the working face of the landfill.  The modern landfill cell is engineered to protect the environment.  It features state-of-the-art liners, leachate collection, groundwater monitoring and extensive landfill gas collection and control systems. Guadalupe meets or exceeds all federal, state, and local regulations.

Throughout the day, heavy equipment operators crush and compact the waste into the disposal cell.  This process forms a tightly packed layer of waste, reduces settlement and conserves landfill space.  At the end of each day, bulldozers spread a layer of compacted soil or alternative cover (such as sludge mixed with wood waste) over the exposed garbage.  This daily cover, required by law, keeps the waste in place, deters scavenging by animals, helps repel rainwater and minimizes odors.

Gas Collection

A natural by-product of landfilling is landfill gas.  Landfill gas results from the decay of organic materials present in a landfill.  Landfill gas contains more than 50 percent methane gas and the balance is carbon dioxide and other materials.  Guadalupe collects the gas through an extensive network of wells and currently flares it. A permit to construct a landfill gas to electricity plant is currently under regulatory review. When completed, the plant is estimated to produce renewable clean energy to power the equivalent of up to 3,000 homes.

Guadalupe has one of the highest landfill gas capture rates in the country – in excess of 90 percent.  Waste Management utilizes US Environmental Protection Agency - approved Tunable Diode Laser (TDL) technology to document its capture rates.  The typical industry capture rate is approximately 75 percent, according to the U.S. EPA.