Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich's bid to keep El Cajon's garbage out of a Lancaster landfill failed Tuesday when no one seconded his motion to prohibit the dumping of out-of-county waste in the Antelope Valley.
But Antonovich received unanimous support on a follow-up proposal to conduct public hearings this year on how best to manage the remaining space in the county's trash dumps. The hearings also will address how the landfills would be affected by the importing of garbage from outside the county.
Dave Vannatta, Antonovich's planning deputy, said the county's Regional Planning Commission will conduct one of the public meetings in the Antelope Valley to let residents express their concerns about the dumping of El Cajon's trash in the privately owned Lancaster Landfill.
"The biggest problem, of course, is that they're bringing it to the Antelope Valley and using up significant amounts of landfill space that ought to be reserved for local residents," Vannatta said.
The issue surfaced earlier this month when local residents learned that officials in El Cajon, in San Diego County, were planning to send 12 truckloads of trash a day to the Lancaster Landfill, where the tipping fee is less expensive than at a closer dump.
The truck trips, about 160 miles each way, are expected to start July 1.
On May 3, Antonovich asked the Board of Supervisors to approve an emergency law that would temporarily ban any importation to the Antelope Valley of trash from outside the county. The board opted to study the issue for two weeks.
The supervisors subsequently received a report from the county's attorneys, questioning whether the board could legally stop the movement of trash across county lines.
In a separate report, Harry W. Stone, the county's acting public works director, told the board that Los Angeles County itself exports trash to other counties and expects to send more out of the county in the future, possibly by rail.
Stone said he is concerned that if the board restricts trash from coming into Los Angeles County, other counties might retaliate by adopting rules to keep out trash coming from the county.