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Trash Agency Study Sees No Need for Weldon Canyon Dump Site

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A study by a west county trash agency has concluded there is no need for a dump at Weldon Canyon and Monday announced its recommendations on how to handle waste disposal when Oxnard’s Bailard Landfill closes this summer.

The study by the West Ventura County Waste Management Authority found that waste from five west county communities can be diverted to a combination of landfills and recycling centers. These are the Simi Valley and Chiquita Canyon landfills, the Gold Coast Recycling Center in Ventura and a recycling and transfer facility under construction by BLT Enterprises in Oxnard.

“This is the logical solution,” said Fillmore Mayor Roger Campbell, who is a member of the waste authority. “We started talking about it as a crisis, but it didn’t take too long to find that there are enough facilities for the trash.”

Ventura County Supervisor Maggie Kildee, chairwoman of the waste authority, said that sending more west county trash to the Simi Valley Landfill was politically unacceptable for years. But she said Simi Valley officials have now expressed a willingness to endorse a plan that would send more trash to the landfill.

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“If Simi Valley officials are willing to consider that, then I’m open to it,” Kildee said. “There are some people who have been saying that there will be a trash crisis when Bailard closes. What we’re saying is that there is no trash crisis.”

The Simi Valley Landfill operator, Waste Management, has offered to slash dumping fees as much as $10 a ton if a long-term guarantee can be secured for trash shipments from cities in western Ventura County.

The west county waste authority also recommended that trash be hauled by 18-wheel trucks on major highways at off-peak hours to minimize the impact of traffic on Moorpark, Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley residents.

John Melton, a Santa Paula city councilman who represents Santa Paula on the authority, said the findings show there is no need for the development of Weldon Canyon nor expansion of the Toland Road Landfill between Santa Paula and Fillmore.

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“Weldon Canyon is not a good site or a good option nor is it needed,” said Ventura City Councilman Gary Tuttle, a member of the authority. “Most people are happy with our findings. I certainly was. We have options with the landfills and recycling centers.”

Panel members said Monday they hope people vote against the initiative to develop a landfill in Weldon Canyon. The Weldon Canyon initiative is on the March 26 ballot in Ventura County.

“We don’t need another landfill in the county,” Campbell said.

Under the authority’s recommendations, the landfills and recycling centers will compete for trash generated by members of the west county waste authority.

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They are the cities of Ventura, Ojai, Santa Paula and Fillmore and the Channel Islands Beach District. The unincorporated areas of the west county will have to negotiate with their trash haulers for the best price for recycling and disposal.

“This may be an opportunity for savings,” said Ojai Mayor Nina Shelley, who represents Ojai on the authority. “I expect a lot of changes in the way our waste is handled and the way we negotiate with the disposition of our waste. We’re hoping to get the absolute best price. It’s going to be pretty much a market-driven effort.”


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