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Neighbors Can Breathe Easier as Recycling Plant Agrees to Move

May 14, 2003|Tracy Wilson | Times Staff Writer

After several days of mediation, a wood recycling company accused of causing foul odors at its Ventura facility has reached an agreement with the county's Environmental Health Division that calls for immediate odor-control measures and eventual relocation of the plant.

The move by California Wood Recycling to an agricultural area in the Oxnard Plain was part of the agreement approved Monday by Superior Court Judge Frederick Bysshe. The wood recycler will work to relocate by May 1, 2004, and cease all solid waste processing as of that date at the Ventura facility.

Bysshe praised both sides for reaching a settlement that addresses citizens' concerns as well as business interests and said it is important to find creative ways to dispose of waste in an economic and environmentally friendly way.

"As we become more urbanized, we are required to develop new approaches," Bysshe said. "We are a very wasteful society, and we need ways to recycle."

Bill Camarillo, chief financial officer for California Wood Recycling, said the move will resolve a long-standing dispute with neighbors. Residents of Oxnard's South Bank neighborhood, just south of the Santa Clara River, have complained for years about a stench wafting to their homes from the plant.

Camarillo said recycling customers might face slightly higher rates as a result of the move.

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