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Do You Know Where Your Trash Goes, Coachella Valley?

Posted by Morgan Miles Craft On 11:49 AM

Whither our trash, Desert Dwellers?

The average US citizen produces around 4.4 pounds of trash each day. From April through June of this year, the cities of the Coachella Valley sent 112,734,000 pounds of waste into landfills. And that’s not counting recycling. Very few people know where all that waste actually ends up. (Click to read on...)
Waste collected in the Coachella Valley is transported to two main transfer stations, one, in Coachella, and another at Edom Hill, just north of I-10, in the Cathedral City area. The transfer stations exist so that the smaller collection trucks you see collecting in your neighborhoods can transport this waste to a local facility and continue collection efficiently.  The waste these trucks offload at the transfer stations is reloaded into larger transport trucks before heading to a landfill elsewhere in the county. Edom Hill was itself the valley’s primary landfill, until it reached capacity in 2004.

Since there are currently no active landfills operating in Coachella Valley, all waste transported from the two area transfer stations is then hauled to active landfills elsewhere in western Riverside CountyLambs Canyon, in Beaumont, Badlands, in the Moreno Valley, and El Sobrante, in Corona, are the 3 primary landfills that accept Riverside County trash.  In the case of Coachella Valley, most of the waste is transported to Badlands for burial, with Lamb’s Canyon taking the rest.  These active landfills in are projected to continue operation for at least another 10 to 25 years, according to the county. After that, things will surely get interesting, especially as LA’s remaining landfills reach capacity, and the Inland Empire continues to sprawl.

Hazadous waste and hazardous household goods require specific handling, and each county landfill, along with a number of valley cities, has developed procedures to mitigate this, mainly through recycling and where necessary, incineration. Consumer electronics and appliances in particular have increased significantly in volume in the last decade, and are now prohibited in county landfills.

Recyclables collected in the Coachella Valley are transported to western Riverside, at El Sobrante in Corona for processing.  All this material is separated, bundled, and then shipped to LA ports where it ultimately will be recycled within Asian markets.  Although some material may be recycled within the US, over 80% of our recycled material is shipped overseas, using a whole lot of fossil fuel.

Burrtec Coachella Transfer Station 
87-011A Landfill Rd., Coachella

Phone (760) 863-4094
8 am to 5:00 pm Mon-Fri Saturday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm; closed Sundays

Burrtec Edom Hill Transfer Station
70-100 Edom Hill Rd., Cathedral City

Phone (760) 340-2113 for hours, fees and types of materials accepted. 

2 Response to "Do You Know Where Your Trash Goes, Coachella Valley?"

  1. Ken Said,


    Great article. I know that your article was about the Coachella Valley, which seems to have its issues with trash, but the waste going overseas is a huge environmental issue. Most of it doesn't go where it is supposed to and some ends up in the ocean. It is just another thing that the U.S. people don't want to deal with, like manufacturing quality goods, and we ship it elsewhere. The e-waste that is shipped out of the states is a real issue and one that is not closely regulated. To learn more about this go to:


  2. Anonymous Said,

    Very very interesting. I no longer live in palm springs, but I always wondered about the landfill situation.