Jul 6 - Communities May Grow Faster Than Landfills

The problem of disposal looms over Ventura County residents as experts predict its Simi Valley and Toland Road landfills may not be enough for its booming population.  Kathleen Wilson of the Ventura County Star reports:

The trucks roll into Oxnard's recycling center with the leftovers of human life almost every day.

Paper and plastic rise in hills more than 20 feet high at the cavernous plant along with stacks of tires and faded carpets, sheaves of tree trimmings, rows of castoff televisions and bucket after bucket of cold-drink and detergent bottles. Workers wearing dust masks sort the leavings for recycling, but there is always more to come to the facility on Del Norte Boulevard.

Oxnard, Ventura County's largest city, rescues a higher percentage of trash than any other city in the county for recycling and reuse, according to state reports. But even with nearly 70 percent being diverted — far better than the 50 percent required by a 1989 state law — around 30 percent of Oxnard's garbage must be buried in Ventura County's landfills. In all, Ventura County residents sent close to 1 million tons of garbage to the landfills near Santa Paula and Simi Valley last year, estimates show.

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Though the article lists conversion technology as an alternative to landfills, there is still much progress to be made in developing the process. Most existing processes create harmful, potent chemicals known to cause cancer in humans.

What you can do:

  • REDUCE your input into the waste stream with helpful tips from CAW's Living Green.
  • COMPOST your food and other biodegradable waste to create a rich, healthy environment for your plants to grow.
  • TAKE ACTION in support of SB 928 (Perata), which will increase the amount of solid waste diverted from landfills.