The San Luis Valley Regional Solid Waste Authority (SLVRSWA) was established in April of 1993 with an intergovernmental agreement between Alamosa County and Rio Grande County for funding to start the project. The site work was done in 1994 with the first load of trash being unloaded February 6th, 1995. This was the first step in a collaborative effort to resolving the burgeoning problem of solid waste disposal around the San Luis Valley. The start of the operation in 1995 marked the new beginning of a vision that Rio Grande and Alamosa Counties, along with the cities of Monte Vista and Alamosa had in coming up with a viable solution to address the problem. Melvin Getz from Rio Grande County served as the first site manager of the new facility. The facility is set up to collect solid waste from all six counties which must pay a tipping fee at the gate as the facility is totally self-funded through these fees. The facility which is located in Rio Grande County is not operated under Rio Grande County but operated solely as its own authority.
The facility is one of the best run and the cleanest operation in the state of Colorado for its size. There is a high standard used to maintain the operations along with meeting the applicable compliance standards and regulations that are required. The facility continues to work with the San Luis Valley Counties to evaluate and maintain the level of service being provided to customers. Currently the facility is receiving waste from areas that include six counties. The facility also continues to keep the financial reserve positive and to have a specific amount set aside for the final closure of the facility which is the financial assurance as required. The acreage owned was designed and engineered to operate a 59 year term at the current operation location. By the end of 2018 there was 35.6% material in place of total capacity with other property for expansion in the future.
In order to be community oriented the authority is a member of the Upper Rio Grande Economic Development Council and a local Chamber of Commerce. This helps to keep the operators of the facility abreast of economic trends and projects in the valley which plays an important role in the amount of material which may or may not be deposited in the landfill. A good example was all of the new school projects and Spring Fire clean up. Being a member of the chamber offers training opportunities and information about the service area to the staff of the facility.
The Old Spanish Trail runs through the landfill property. Located at the edge of the property you will find the old wagon wheel tracks. The Old Spanish Trail is common with the Mesa County Landfill.