Prima Deshecha Landfill Elevates Waste Management and Recycling Solutions for Orange County

Ribbon Cutting Photo

ORANGE COUNTY, CA (January 10, 2024) – OC Waste & Recycling (OCWR) proudly announces the completion of a new scale booth and extensive infrastructure upgrades at Prima Deshecha Landfill (PDL) in San Juan Capistrano. The VIP Ribbon-Cutting celebration on December 6, 2023, marks a momentous step towards heightened efficiency, safety, and ecological sustainability.

 Commenced on March 7, 2022, the comprehensive project provided a revolutionary overhaul of the landfill's entrance. Transitioning from two lanes, the newly constructed scale booths now accommodate six lanes, complemented by a range of technology and safety enhancements. These include four additional scales, scale canopies, a modern office building, low emission flares, and landscaping for both aesthetic appeal and enhanced fire safety measures. 

 Valued at $22.5 million, the project features optimized traffic flow, fostering enhanced customer communication, and fortifying safety protocols. Key highlights include two upgraded gas destruction flares and supporting structures, ergonomic workspaces for staff, and cutting-edge safety enhancements. 

 The opening of the new fee booth and scales prepares the site for Zone 4 access and opening. The improvements allow OCWR to serve more customers, decrease wait times, shorten traffic queues, and centralize access to, the Capistrano Greenery, Zones 1 and 4, preparing the site for the next 80 to 100 years.

Two “Ultra-Low NOx” flares have also been installed and are currently operational, passing stringent air quality requirements testing and has already provided an increase in gas collection capacity at PDL. The new flares have a methane-destruction capacity of approximately 4,000 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) each. This provides PDL the ability to collect and manage more landfill gas as the anticipated tonnage increases with upgraded efficiency, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"This milestone embodies our teams’ dedication to refining waste management services for the community, positioning PDL for a critical role in regional infrastructure and resource recovery efforts to meet both short and long-term goals," stated Tom Koutroulis, Director of OCWR. "Prima Deshecha Landfill has been integral to our waste management strategy since its inception in 1976. The progress made reflects the County’s continued commitment to operational efficiency and environmental stewardship." 

On approximately 1,530 acres, Prima Deshecha Landfill plays a critical role in facilitating waste disposal within Orange County. With a designated 691 acres specifically intended for waste management, 18 acres for the greenery and an additional 557.1 acres under conservation easement, the landfill dedicates 233 acres to restoring native habitats within the protected area. OCWR's commitment extends beyond waste management, exemplifying a steadfast dedication to environmental conservation and habitat restoration. 

About OC Waste & Recycling (OCWR)

OCWR serves the County’s solid waste disposal needs by providing waste management services, operating public landfills, protecting the local environment, investing in renewable energy enterprises and promoting recycling to ensure a safe and healthy community for current and future generations. The department manages one of the nation's premier solid waste disposal systems, three compost greeneries, all serving residents and businesses in the County’s 34 cities and unincorporated areas. OCWR’s three active landfills reflect environmental engineering at its best. Learn more by visiting the OCWR website at