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Where will Manteca garbage go in 10 years?
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Protecting prime farmland and the integrity of flight approaches to Stockton Metro Airport will eventually cost Manteca households and businesses.

That’s because the San Joaquin County Board of supervisors decision this past week that essentially nixed Forward Landfill’s plan to expand their operation on North Austin Road eight miles northeast of Manteca means the city in 10 years or so will need to truck garbage and recyclables elsewhere.

Forward Landfill had hoped to expand by 184 acres onto prime farmland in order to extend the live of the facility through 2039. About 72 percent of the garbage buried at the landfill is imported from the Bay Area and elsewhere in California. Most San Joaquin County cities have their garbage trucked to a landfill east of Lodi in the foothills.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin noted municipal leaders have no intention of waiting until the last minute to explore options.

That doesn’t mean they intend to leave Forward Landfill when the twp-year contract extension inked this month ends. Manteca simply wants to know what its options are and have a plan in place when Forward Landfill does have to finally cease operations in the next 10 years or so.

McLaughlin noted Manteca already planned to be part of an upcoming county-city effort to explore long-range landfill options. The Lodi facility where most municipal garbage in the county is buried is expected to be full by 2055.

Even if tipping fees at the Lodi area facility were the same as what Manteca is currently paying at Forward Landfill, the city would have to pay to have trucks haul the garbage there after city solid waste trucks collect it and take it to a transfer station. Currently, city solid waste collection trucks take the eight mile drive to the Austin Road to dump their loads.

The two-year extension of the Forward Landfill contract at the current rate with no adjustment for inflation means Manteca will experience a savings of 3 to 6 percent each year.

The contract comes on the heels of another money-saving contract inked with Forward Inc. in July for accepting the city’s glass, cans, newspapers, cardboard, and such.

That five-year deal was for processing and disposing of co-mingled recyclables. The rate that the firm pays for each ton of recyclables was unchanged at $36. The big savings, though, comes with Forward Inc.’s willingness to haul the recyclables after they are taken by city collection trucks to their landfill operation on Austin Road to a processing facility they own in Fremont at no additional charge. Forward Inc. had been charging $50 per load for that service.

Manteca received $140,852 in payment for recycled materials during the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Lathrop-based Harvest Power California in July inked a three-year contract with the city to process green waste. The city was paying $19.31 per ton to have green waste taken from them and recycled. The new rate is $19.25 a ton.

Manteca spent $214,078 in the 2011-12 fiscal year for green waste disposal.