SR 85 Landfill News
On Jan. 15, 2002, the Phoenix City Council approved Public Works to acquire and begin the process of permitting the SR 85 site, located west of State Route 85 and south of Patterson Road in Buckeye, Ariz.
The project team completed its studies on the site, which included environmental site assessments, geotechnical investigations, cultural resource surveys, and biological resource surveys. Reports have been prepared that summarize the findings of these studies and are available upon request.
Effective Jan. 2, 2006, the SR 85 Landfill acquired all permits and approvals and began landfilling operations. The landfill is not open to the general public. An average of 3,500 tons of material are delivered to the landfill daily.
Site Description and Map
The landfill site consists of 2,652 acres of land currently owned by the City of Phoenix located west of SR 85 and south of Patterson Road about halfway between the towns of Buckeye and Gila Bend. The Gila Bend Canal and Old U.S. Highway 80 bound the proposed site to the west. The site encompasses portions of Sections 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, and 27, Township 3 South, Range 4 West as depicted on the Cotton Center NW (1972) 7.5-minute U.S. Geological Survey topographical quadrangle. The portions of the land not used for landfill operations are leased for agricultural and renewable energy purposes.
Patterson Road and State Route 85 Improvements
The city continues working with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to address issues related to the SR 85. The ADOT has been taking into consideration the plan for the landfill as it develops design concepts for improvements to SR 85. Based on the City’s plans for operations at the landfill, ADOT anticipates that approximately 100 to 150 trailer-truck loads of solid waste will be disposed at the landfill each day. ADOT has implemented improvements to SR 85 that will enhance the safety of the road. Additional plans include widening the road to create a four-lane divided highway along its entire length from Gila Bend to the I-10 interchange. In the area near the prison and landfill site, a traffic interchange has been added to provide safer access to the prison and Patterson Road using acceleration/deceleration ramps, bridges and frontage roads. On March 2006 the city completed road improvements to Patterson Road from State Route (SR) 85 to the landfill entrance, including turning and acceleration/deceleration lanes, to accommodate the landfill truck traffic.
Protection of the Environment
The design and construction of the landfill is in strict conformance with applicable federal and State of Arizona laws and regulations and includes design components to ensure environmental protection and control. These design elements include a landfill liner system that provides isolation from the underlying surface and groundwater.
The depth to groundwater ranges from approximately 150 feet to more than 250 feet at the site. The groundwater in the vicinity of the proposed landfill site flows towards the east-southeast. The city will verify that groundwater is not impacted by the landfill by performing groundwater monitoring. Prior to and during the first two years of landfill operations, groundwater samples are collected to determine the existing water quality. Subsequently the groundwater is monitored on a semiannual basis to determine if any significant changes have occurred. The groundwater monitoring Hydrogeologic Report and background monitoring report on the study used to establish alert levels and aquifer quality limits can be accessed at the links below. The semiannual groundwater monitoring records can also be accessed below.
Design and operational protections also require the monitoring, collection and treatment of landfill gas to prevent gas migration off-site and to reduce the amount of untreated gas emitted to the atmosphere. Landfill gas monitoring probes have been installed and are monitored quarterly around the perimeter of the landfill to ensure landfill gas does not migrate off the property boundary in excess of regulatory levels. Additionally, a landfill gas system has been installed to collect gas through wells and treat the gas by burning in enclosed flame flares or by other approved methods such as converting the gas to electricity. The initial phase of the landfill gas collection system was completed and became operational on September 2007.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the SR 85 Landfill, please contact:
John Gilbert, Landfill Superintendent
Reports and links