Let Tinseltown keep its star-studded Academy Awards parties; Ventura County has its dump. The Bailard Landfill in Oxnard officially opened Wednesday with cinematic fanfare.
“Everyone who’s anyone in the world of waste will be joyously celebrating,” gushed a Ventura County Regional Sanitation District newsletter in advance of the event. The district sponsored the so-called “trash bash,” along with VenVirotek, a Ventura-based company that turns oil field wastes and sewage sludge into landfill cover.
And dignitaries did show up, stepping lightly wherever they went. They offered brief remarks as earthmovers behind them dug into tons of trash and shells continuously popped to scare roosting sea gulls.
On hand for speeches, tours and perhaps the only recorded landfill-side barbecue were Rep. Robert Lagomarsino (R-Ventura), Ventura Mayor Jim Monahan, Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem Dorothy Maron and a host of other city, county and sanitation district officials.
“This is a great week in the world of garbage,” said County Supervisor Susan K. Lacey.
Privately operated from 1962 to 1975, the landfill shut down after allegations of various permit violations. Since then, the district has committed to spending as much as $9 million to keep decomposing trash from filtering into an aquifer beneath the dump.
Bailard has enough room left to absorb 2,000 tons daily from western Ventura County for five years, according to district officials.