HUNTINGTON BEACH : Recycling Center on Polluted Site Urged

As part of an effort to develop 40 acres of city-owned land partly contaminated with high levels of methane, Mayor Thomas J. Mays on Wednesday unveiled a proposal for a mobile recycling center on the site.

Mays is championing an offer made this week by a Chino-based firm to establish a facility--at no cost to the city--to reuse wood and concrete waste from redevelopment projects, tree trimming and other work.

Pomona Valley Environmental Inc. would use part of its income from reselling the materials to pay the estimated $4-million cost of setting up the center and all future operating costs.

The city would also receive a percentage of the firm's revenues, which Mays said would probably average about $400,000 per year.

The recycling center would incorporate the wood shredder and concrete crusher the firm is now using in clearing the abandoned Ocean View Mushroom Farm next to the methane-plagued site. The proposed facility, which city staff officials are studying, would use five acres of a 17.6-acre parcel, a former Orange County dump site extending along Talbert Avenue from Golden West Avenue to Gothard Avenue, which a city-hired consultant reported last month is highly contaminated with methane gas.

That discovery jeopardized city plans to build a golf course there and relocate nearby mobile home residents to the site, since state law prohibits the construction of new residences within 600 feet of a methane-contaminated site.

Mitigating the problem would cost nearly $7 million, according to the report. But for a recycling facility, the methane dilemma could be solved for about $1.2 million, the study said.

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