The Oxnard City Council on Tuesday voted to award a $65,000 contract to an Irvine-based engineering firm for technical assistance in the construction of a recycling and waste transfer station on the city's southeast side.
HDR Engineering Services received the contract to draw up plans for what Oxnard officials hope will be the first facility of its kind in Ventura County.
Oxnard is competing with Gold Coast Recycling Inc. of Ventura to build a regional center for sorting trash and recyclable material from throughout the western county. City officials hope to have the plant operating by the end of 1994.
"It's a real aggressive move on our part to make sure our citizenry will be able to comply with state law," said Councilman Andres Herrera, the city's representative on the county Waste Commission. "We're proceeding absent anything else. Time and our effort are moving forward."
Under state law, every county and city must cut the amount of waste sent to landfills 25% by 1995 and 50% by the year 2000.
Known as the Materials Recovery Facility, the plant is projected to handle as much as 2,780 tons a day of solid waste. The complex would sort trash and recyclable materials and refuse would be transferred to a landfill.
The Oxnard Planning Commission on Thursday will consider awarding a permit to allow the construction of the 148,839-square-foot complex.
The Oxnard City Council has already approved the proposal. Negotiations are under way with BLT Enterprises of Los Angeles.
Oxnard officials were debating late Tuesday whether to sell $25 million in bonds to finance construction of the complex.
The facility, which would operate around the clock, is one of two competing proposals for such facilities in the county.
Gold Coast has proposed converting a large warehouse along the Ventura Freeway, at Mission Oaks Boulevard and Dawson Drive in Camarillo, into a waste recycling and transfer center.
That proposal has yet to receive endorsement by the city of Camarillo and has met some opposition from neighboring residents.
If recommended by the Ventura County Waste Commission and approved by the Camarillo City Council, the Gold Coast plant would have 155 workers sorting up to 1,800 tons of garbage and recyclables every day.
The county's Waste Commission ultimately will decide which proposal to adopt.
Oxnard officials said that city residents produce about one-third of all garbage generated in the west county--enough to justify a separate plant--but they are hopeful that other cities will decide to use their facility once it is built.
Faced with new recycling laws, city leaders said they decided to build their own plant after growing tired of waiting for the county and other cities to agree on where to build a waste transfer station.
Even if the Waste Commission adopts the Camarillo proposal, Oxnard officials said they still may pursue construction of a recycling and waste transfer plant in their city.
"We have made overtures to every other city in the western waste shed and we would love to have the other cities join," Herrera said. "But right now we have to worry about our obligation to meet the dictates of state law."