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Dump the City Dump, Mayoral Panel Urges

October 18, 2002|Wendy Thermos | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles should stop using Sunshine Canyon Landfill in June 2006 and turn to new technologies to dispose of trash, a mayoral advisory panel said Thursday.

The findings by the landfill oversight committee represent the first official attempt to put a deadline on ending the city's use of the landfill near Granada Hills.

The dump is a source of irritation for many San Fernando Valley residents because of the dust, noise and litter generated by trucks hauling the more than 3,000 tons of trash collected daily from around the city.

The committee will recommend that the city use waste-to-energy conversion, large-scale composting and trash-eating bacteria to eliminate as much garbage as possible from the waste stream.

Anything that cannot be diverted, the committee said, should be shipped to landfills outside the city by rail.

The committee did not assess whether garbage rates would increase as a result of the recommendations.

Browning-Ferris Industries, which operates Sunshine Canyon Landfill, has repeatedly said that residents will see higher bills if the city stops using the dump.

The panel's findings will be forwarded within days to Mayor James K. Hahn, who will need the consent of the City Council to carry them out.

The mayor has pledged repeatedly to close the Sunshine Canyon dump and also Bradley Landfill in Sun Valley, which takes commercial waste but receives none of the trash collected by city sanitation trucks.

Committee members noted that Sunshine Canyon would still be able to receive trash from sources outside the city after 2006.

But they said Los Angeles needs to end the practice of forcing Valley neighborhoods to absorb the trash burden generated by residents throughout the city.

"We need to say to the city, 'You will find someplace else to put our trash,' " said committee member Mary Edwards. "It's important, because it's killing our neighborhoods."

Edwards persuaded the committee to release its findings before the Nov. 5 vote on Valley secession.

"These are strong recommendations," she said. "I think people want to know the city's stand on this issue before they vote."

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