The Mesquite Regional Landfill is Southern California's first operating landfill that is permitted to receive waste by rail. The landfill is located next to the Mesquite Gold Mine, east of Glamis and near the Union Pacific Railroad mainline. A 5-mile rail spur connects the landfill to the railroad mainline. The site is well suited to be a landfill because of its desert climate, distance from groundwater, distance from residential development, proximity to the railroad, and preexisting use for mining. The landfill will be designed and operated as a sanitary landfill to meet all local, state and federal requirements.
The waste-by-rail project is primarily an intermodal system. At materials recovery or transfer facilities, waste will be loaded into sealed containers. The containers will then be trucked to an intermodal rail yard to be placed onto rail cars. The loaded train will haul the containers about 200 miles to the intermodal rail yard at the Mesquite Regional Landfill. The containers will then be loaded onto trucks, transported to the working area of the landfill and unloaded. Empty containers will then be loaded onto the train for the return trip.
The site is also permitted to receive up to 1,000 tons per day by truck from Imperial County.