EDITORIAL RAW DEAL SUPERVISORS SELL OUT COMMUNITY ON SUNSHINE CANYON.
Community opinion be damned. This sellout was preordained.
The public never supported the merger of the two landfills -- one within city limits, one under L.A. County government's control -- for good reason: Neither Sunshine's operator, Browning Ferris Industries, nor the political leaders overseeing the deal ever acted with much integrity.
Neighbors were worried that somehow, once again, their interests would be buried in the dump's mountainous piles of trash. And they were right.
BFI wanted the new 1,528-acre mega-dump to be exempt from a policy that had applied to the city portion and barred it from accepting trash from outside L.A. County.
Suddenly the deal was going to be about more than bureaucratic organization after all. If BFI got its way, the deal would be the vehicle for further dumping on the San Fernando Valley. This is exactly the sort of trickery community leaders had feared.
Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Zev Yaroslavsky, who voted against the merger, that didn't happen. Its sleazy negotiating tactics notwithstanding, BFI will not be able to import the rest of Southern California's trash into the area just outside Granada Hills.
But the dump will get to keep operating for 30 more years, thanks to the supervisors' approval. The daily amount of trash going to the landfill also will be increased from from 6,000 tons to 12,000 tons.
And though the mega-dump will be held to some more stringent environmental standards, that will be of little consolation to those living nearby.
Neighbors will still have to put up with the fumes, the hazards and the traffic -- plus landfill operators and politicians who don't care.