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'No Place to Put Garbage'

August 05, 1987

Kudos to Barbara D. Cummings for her poignant illustration accompanying Forest Tennant's article, "The Offal Predicament: No Place to Put Garbage" (Opinion, July 12).

Cummings captures the true dilemma facing Angelenos over trash. No one wants it.

Los Angeles County and outlying cities don't want garbage from the city of Los Angeles. The city doesn't want its own garbage. Cities in the San Gabriel Valley are tired of being "dumped on" by the rest of the county. Westside residents don't want any more garbage burned or buried in their backyards either.

Without a doubt, the current outcry against proposed incinerators and potential landfill sites will ultimately result in substantially higher garbage bills for Los Angeles residents. If efforts succeed to ship L.A.'s waste to farther remote facilities, the costs will be higher still.

Most likely, the answer for Los Angeles will be a mixture of recycling, waste incineration and landfill disposal of residues. The exact balance of technologies will depend on local decision-makers like the author of the column, Tennant, who must be willing to face the dilemma objectively and make the hard decisions.

The bottom line for each of these waste management options will be cost. To be fair, local officials must identify the true costs of each option and explore the public's willingness to pay them.

I suspect that Los Angeles rate-payers may find that the costs of mandatory recycling and transportation to distant landfills will also be too much to put up with.



Calif. Waste Management Board


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