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The fight to extend the lifespan of the Miramar landfill continues. On July 1st, Mayor Sanders announced the implementation of a new ordinance that requires all building contractors, homeowners, and demolition companies to pay a refundable deposit on the construction and demolition waste from their projects. If the contractors or homeowners recycle more than 50 percent of the waste then the city will refund the entire deposit.

The ordinance is the latest attempt at extending the lifespan of the Miramar landfill, which according to the city's Environmental Services website is set to reach capacity by the end of 2012. The construction waste ordinance is expected to delay Miramar's closure by one year.

This is the city's second step in trying to add more years to the landfill. The first step came last April, when San Diego officials tripled the fees for dumping construction and demolition waste at Miramar.

And while diverting more waste is a step in the right direction, nothing has been said as to what the city plans to do when the Miramar landfill finally does reach capacity. Of course there are other landfills, but they are privately owned and will be costly for a city whose finances are already in the dumps. The other option has been said to build a new landfill, like the one proposed for Gregory Canyon. That one has been talked about since 1994 and is vehemently opposed by environmental groups who say that diversion and zero-waste strategies should take priority.

For more information on the new construction and demolition waste ordinance visit the city's environmental services website at sandiego.gov/environmental-services/miramar

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