Giant Downey recycling facility makes room for expansion

The county’s sanitation districts scooped up a 3.7-acre parcel of land to make room for possible expansion of the Downey Area Recycling and Transfer facility.

Garbage hauler CalMet services sold the land at 9821 Downey Norwalk Road to the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County for $4.7 million, according to realty websites and the Sanitation Districts. CalMet had used the land for years as a service yard.

The site is in the southwestern industrial part of the city.

“It was right across from the Downey DART facility,” said Don Avila, a spokesman for the Sanitation Districts. “Right now, it’s not going to be anything. But it gives us room if we need it in the future. It’s one of those things where, if you get the opportunity, you have to take it.”

Workers at the DART sort recyclables out of the garbage before it is hauled to landfills.

CalMet is consolidating is operations to a 7.5-acre site in Paramount off Garfield Avenue south of the 105 Freeway near that company’s recycling yard, said Bill Kalpakoff, CalMet’s general manager.

CalMet, which hauls garbage from Downey and several other cities, is considering opening a state-of-the-art power generation facility at the Paramount location, he said. The facility would generate electricity by burning garbage, a practice common in Europe, Kalpakoff said.

Landfills are getting full, and haulers need to find new ways to get rid of trash, he said. The Paramount site has been identified as a potential site for a power generation demonstration project, often referred to conversion technology.

“You have to adjust in this business,” he said. “We need to adopt new technology. If you’re still selling buggy whips, you’re not going to last long.”




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