Lake View Terrace : Report Favors Keeping Lopez Dump Open

In a report submitted to the Los Angeles Bureau of Public Works this week, city sanitation officials reiterated their reasons for keeping Lopez Canyon Landfill operating for another five years.

Extending the life of the dump would cost taxpayers millions less than closing it in February, when its operating permit is scheduled to expire, the report states.

"It's just a rehash of what the bureau has been saying all along," said Rob Zappel, a landfill opponent who represents residents living near the dump in Kagel Canyon.

The landfill's operating permit was already extended once for a five-year period, and it is scheduled to close permanently in February.

But sanitation officials applied for another five-year extension, noting that the landfill still has capacity and that it would be cheaper to continue sending trash to the city-owned Lopez landfill than elsewhere.

The Board of Public Works ultimately recommended just a one-year extension for the landfill. The City Council then asked the bureau to submit an action plan on its waste disposal strategy to the board.

Presented on Monday, the plan stresses expanded use of curbside recycling programs to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, and breaks down three waste disposal options for the city: closing Lopez Canyon in February, keeping it open another year, or keeping it open until 2001.

Echoing previous findings, the bureau concluded that keeping the dump open another five years would cost only $5.9 million, compared to closing it next year, which would result in costs totaling $54 million over five years.

A group of homeowners and environmental organizations appealed the landfill permit extension, and the issue will be discussed in the city's Planning and Land Use Management Committee in November or December, officials said. Ultimately, the extension will come down to a City Council vote.

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