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VENTURA : Trash Precautions in Medfly Area Urged

November 06, 1994|JULIE FIELDS

Homeowners in Ventura County's Medfly quarantine area are being encouraged to double bag their garbage, particularly if it contains clippings from fruit trees or produce, federal agricultural officials said Friday.

Doug Hendrix, a spokesman for the state and federal Cooperative Medfly Project, said the double bagging is a precaution against the Mediterranean fruit fly spreading to another part of the county while the trash is being transported. Officials at Bailard Landfill turned away one load of trash about two weeks ago, because it contained trimmings from a lemon tree within the 86 square-mile quarantine area.

The landfill in Oxnard had been ordered to inspect and reject trash loads that came from individual property owners and contained citrus from the quarantine area. Those loads were then diverted to the landfill in Simi Valley.

However, on Thursday, state agricultural officials lifted the restrictions on Bailard. The Oxnard landfill will no longer have to inspect loads from private individuals, and can accept all trash from the Camarillo area.

"I suspect they've decided it doesn't pose as much of a hazard as they thought initially," said John Conaway, director of solid waste for the Ventura Regional Sanitation District, which operates the Bailard Landfill.

Gary Haden, the district's director of operations, said there was little risk of the fruit fly spawning if it were to arrive at the landfill.

"Once a load comes in, it hits the ground and is buried within a few minutes and covered at the end of the day with dirt," he said.

Trash picked up by commercial haulers is considered less of a risk for transporting the Medfly because the garbage is compressed inside a container.

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