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Council OKs Transfer of Trash Contracts

Despite allegations of misconduct surrounding a Torrance-based company that is set to assume operation of Ventura County’s second-largest trash hauler, officials in Simi Valley decided to approve it taking over the city’s trash contracts.

Western Waste Industries, the subject of numerous reports about alleged payoffs to a Compton city councilwoman, is purchasing controlling interest in G. I. Industries of Simi Valley. Western, in turn, is being bought out by another company, USA Waste Disposal Services of Dallas, and will operate as a subsidiary. The combined company would be the nation’s third-largest trash hauler.

The Simi Valley City Council voted 4 to 1 Monday night to allow transfer of the city contracts to Western Waste Industries, which would operate G. I. Industries as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Councilman Paul Miller, a former city police chief, voted against the transfer, saying he did not want a company with that kind of record operating in the city.

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“I may not still be a cop, but I still get a feeling like a cop sometimes, and I got a funny feeling about this,” Miller said. “I see red flags and bells all over this thing.”

G. I. controls exclusive contracts to pick up trash in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark and unincorporated portions of eastern Ventura County.

G. I., which has been in bankruptcy reorganization for the last three years, generated an estimated $20 million in revenue in 1995.

In early April, a U. S. Bankruptcy Court judge overseeing the company’s operations approved its sale to Western Waste Industries, but made the sale contingent upon approval by the three cities and the county. Simi Valley was the first city to vote on the transfer.

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