Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts Spend $430 Million on “Trash Train”

The sanitation districts of Los Angeles County have spent 10 years and $430 million building a railway system to haul trash to a desert landfill, but the Orange County Register reports that “the system is sitting idle because it is too expensive to use.”

“Instead, Los Angeles County is dumping its trash in Orange County, where space in the Brea and Irvine landfills is plentiful and half the $80-per-ton cost of using the trash train,” the Register writes.

Funding for the unnecessary train came from increases in trash-hauling fees that were passed down to residents and businesses.

County officials say the expensive 200-mile rail line will cost $300,000 per year even when not in use, and they estimate that it could be five to 15 years before the train is used. A private consultant who is not affiliated with the county or the train said the train might sit idle much longer than that, as Southern California’s remaining disposal capacity could last another 100 years. (Source: Orange County Register, April 21.)

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