Sanitation District Wants Waste Dump Expanded : Garbage: Supporters of the proposal say that larger facility is needed when another county site closes.


The operator of the Toland Road Landfill near Santa Paula sought to bolster its case Thursday for expansion of the dump, as it prepares for the release of a $750,000 environmental document on the proposed project later this month.

“The expansion of Toland Road is good public policy and will serve the public interest better than any other disposal option,” Lori Norton, manager of the Ventura Regional Sanitation District, said in a presentation to the district’s board.

The district is seeking to expand the dump so that it can handle west Ventura County’s trash after Oxnard’s Bailard Landfill, which it also operates, closes next year.


During her hourlong presentation, Norton restated the district’s reasons for enlarging Toland. She said it would have the least environmental impact of any disposal options, while providing low dumping fees and guaranteeing local control and reliability.

The expansion would enable Toland, which now accepts 130 tons of trash a day from Santa Paula and Fillmore, to receive the 1,200 to 1,500 tons of the daily trash from western Ventura County that goes to Bailard.

But four of the district’s nine board members remain opposed to the expansion because of environmental concerns.

The opponents of the expansion--representing the cities of Santa Paula, Fillmore, Ojai and Ventura--said they want to explore other alternatives for trash disposal. With a glut of landfill space in other areas, they said, there is no need to expand Toland.

“We’re not going to run out of landfill space because it is such a lucrative endeavor,” said Ojai Councilwoman Nina Shelley. “Landfills are one of the most profitable industries today.”

But Norton warned that there is growing opposition in other counties, including Los Angeles County, to imported trash. She also stressed that sending trash elsewhere means giving up local financial control.


Norton said the draft environmental impact report on the Toland Road expansion is scheduled for release Sept. 21. It will be available for public comment after that.

Norton said that recycling will not eliminate the need for landfills and that no technologies exist that would make dumps obsolete in the future. State laws that call for reducing the flow of trash to landfills by 50% by the end of the decade may not be realistic because of population growth and other factors, she said.

Still, Norton acknowledged that expansion of Toland Road faces stiff opposition.

“Unfortunately, there is a lot of politics in this process,” she said. “Politics tends to get in the way.”