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A dump in the middle of Salinas closes permanently tomorrow, paving the way for redevelopment.

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The Sun Street Transfer Station

The Sun Street Transfer Station, located in the middle of Salinas, will close permanently after regular hours end tomorrow, Sept. 10, at 4pm.

Celia Jiménez here, looking ahead to the weekend during which a long-awaited trash facility relocation will become reality. Tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 10, the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority’s transfer station will close its doors at 4pm after its last day serving the public. At its current location on Sunset Street—in the middle of the city of Salinas—it has regularly served 300 people daily, six days a week. 

The facility opened in 2005, and since 2008, agency officials and city officials have been looking to relocate it. But finding alternative sites for a dump proved to be tricky.

“A dump does not belong in the middle of the city, or within city limits,” Salinas City Councilmember Christie Cromeenes—also a board member of the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority—said last year. That was in context of the Salinas City Council unanimously approving the closure and relocation back on Sept. 28, 2021. 

The move aligns with the city’s Alisal Vibrancy Plan, which seeks to develop and improve East Salinas. The vision includes a marketplace and increased pedestrian traffic and commerce in the area—not necessarily compatible with a trash station.

Starting on Monday, Sept. 12, a new trash facility at 1104 Madison Lane will open up, less than four miles away from the old Sun Street station, but this time on the edge of the city. SVSWA (also known as Salinas Valley Recycles) will share the new space with the city’s waste hauling company, Republic Services; SVSWA will lease over an acre from them for $200,000 a year, on a 15-year contract with a five-year extension. 

The new Madison Lane site will accept only recycling and household hazardous waste. At the shared site, Republic Services will collect garbage, yard waste, wood waste and construction/demolition debris. In conjunction with Republic Services, they will continue to accept the same materials that were dropped off at Sun Street. 

Patrick Mathews, general manager of SVSWA, has mixed feelings about the closure. “We've been here for such a long time and built such a large and loyal customer base,” he says. 

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Agency officials are doing their best to redirect their customers to the new location on Madison Lane, but he expects fewer customers because of the move and new prices—most likely higher prices—Republic Services will set for garbage disposal and yard waste. Disposal prices may start at $25, compared to $17 at Sun Street

SVSWA will continue to operate other existing facilities, the Johnson Canyon Landfill in Gonzales and Jolon Road Transfer Station near King City. Prices at those locations will remain the same. Mathews expects traffic will increase at those South County locations as Salinas customers use them to dispose of items: “We expect that we're going to see a significant increase in customers down at Gonzales.” 

Mathews says SVSWA will continue to operate the same way at the new Madison Lane location, which is a larger and newer facility. “Hopefully our partnership with Republic will blossom as we add new programs,” he adds. 

The new location may not be convenient for all residents who are accustomed to dropping off recycling and large items at Sun Street, but it will definitely change the cityscape of East Salinas. The area feels pretty deserted, relative to other bustling neighborhoods. I can’t wait to see the changes that will revitalize this part of town.

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