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Trash talk about fact-finding trip

June 05, 2008

Re "L.A. councilman to lead six-country trip," May 30

As The Times reports, the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation proposes to use fees generated from the Sunshine Canyon Landfill to fund a $250,000 overseas fact-finding mission led by Councilman Greig Smith this summer.

The decision to use these municipal funds was made entirely by the Bureau of Sanitation, not Sunshine Canyon. Although operations at Sunshine Canyon generated the funds, the landfill's operators have no control over how that money is spent by the city.

Sunshine Canyon pays the city a 12% franchise fee on all solid waste entering the landfill, and half of that fee is required to be put in a trust fund to pay for community improvements and environmental programs. Through the payment of this franchise fee, Sunshine Canyon has become an extremely significant and reliable source of city revenue at a time when municipal deficits are at unprecedented levels. Over the last three years, Sunshine Canyon has generated more than $5.5 million in fee income for the city.

Greg Loughnane

Market Vice President

Allied Waste

Sun Valley

Smith and his entourage neglected to include Italy in their globe-trotting "trash conversion facilities" itinerary. Perhaps the Mafia in Naples can offer timely advice for the disposal of such absurd rubbish put forth by our esteemed city officials.

Yasmin A. Netervala

Westwood

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