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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Expansion of Calabasas Landfill Proposed

As of yesterday, Zev Yaroslavsky intervened to prevent Los Angeles County from enacting a policy to expand the use of the Calabasas Landfill. The question remains: how will the landfill make ends meet without potentially affecting the environment or forcing it's closure prematurely?

Click the link below to see the document prepared by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Department. The document supports a negative impact to the community by increasing the amount of trash being brought into the Calabasas Land fill.  Some residents object to the correlating increase of  noise, dust, heat, and additional pollution (from the power facility) and view.  There is no indication of how much higher the mountain to our East will get, and it allows the continued use of this facility through 2045, It does not take into consideration the possibility that the third gas turbine may be able to be activated with the increase in Methane gas from the additional trash brought into the area from outside the approved Wasteshed area.
This is a self serving document that has not been presented to anybody in the community for comment or approval.  In fact they need the trash to keep the facility open and operating on a cost sustaining basis.  They are willing to bring trash in from much further than currently allowed.  Just where that trash was going prior to now is not mentioned, except to say that some of it may be going to private facilities.  They have made assumptions based on historical vehicle traffic, with no justification for the validity of the historical vehicle count.  Just because it was once allowed does not make it acceptable, only historical.  It was not approved with proper validation then, but somehow has now become the basis for approval now.
What is not discussed in this document is the fact that by bringing in waste from areas outside the current wasteshed it reduces the time that this facility will be available for the current users leaving them with no alternative sometime in the future.  I don't think any of the affected parties to this declaration have taken that possibility into consideration.  It certainly is not mentioned in this document.  Every city, or affected area should be carefully advised of this impact before this negative declaration is approved in its current iteration.
Most of the Agoura area is serviced by Waste Management, not the county.  So, all of that trash goes to their facility in Simi Valley.  It appears that the problem is not a lack of trash in the area, but rates that are not competitive with Waste Management.  If the County had won the bid for this area there would be less reason for changing the rules about the wasteshed area.  The best choice for the County might be to sell this facility and get out of the trash collection business all together leaving it to private industry where it is likely that it will be run on a more cost effective basis.
A proper, independent impact study should be done to see the true impact on all parties affected by this facility.

Posted at 8:23:51 PM
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