Corralitos Regional Landfill – owned and operated by the South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) – is where every bit of your trash goes into permanent waste storage. Today, a new 14-acre landfill “cell” is being developed at Corralitos to manage future trash at a cost of $4.5 million. This will be the Landfill’s 4th cell; the previous cell was a 10-acre project built in 2013.
“Cell construction starts with approval from the SCSWA Board,” explains Patrick Peck, SCSWA Director. “The Board takes into account population projections, models showing the amount of solid waste likely to be generated, the projected cost of landfilling. Then we move forward with engineering designs, construction, and installing multiple liners before any trash is brought into the new landfill cell.”
Two critical landfill components that add to the cost of landfilling are: the leachate collection system, which manages the liquids resulting from decomposing organic materials (mostly food waste), and a new gas collection system, mandated by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) to manage the gases generated by decomposing organics in the trash (again, mostly food waste).
Following the “dirt work”, which creates an upside down 14-acre pyramid-shaped structure for the cell, lining begins with highly compacted soil graded to engineered specs, then heavy duty liners are installed and topped with 2 feet of sand to protect the liners from heavy landfill equipment that crushes and compacts garbage daily.
How much garbage? Every day approximately 250,000 residents and businesses of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County produce more than 500 tons of solid waste. Approximately 5% is diverted as recyclable material… but the rest is landfilled.
Corralitos Regional Landfill is sited in the center of a 600-acre parcel located along I-10, 15 miles west of Las Cruces. Corralitos is a highly engineered, lined, permitted, award-winning facility that is the repository for the solid waste generated by our population.