Monday, January 31, 2011

Proper disposal

Vote against Prop. B and for the landfill
Union Tribune Editorial
August 28, 2004
It should go without saying that public officials, elected and otherwise, aren't in the business of poisoning the public water supply, if for no reason other than that they drink it, cook with it and bathe in it, too. 

But apparently it does need saying about the proposed Gregory Canyon landfill, now the subject of both a ballot proposition to repeal San Diego County voters' previous authorization of it and a campaign to scare voters out of their wits. Voters were smarter than that 10 years ago. They should be as smart on Nov. 2. 

In 1994, voters approved putting a new recycling collection center and solid-waste landfill at Gregory Canyon so that North County residents would be able to dispose of their trash "in an environmentally sound and economically competitive manner."
The need for these facilities is now 10 years closer. The technology to operate the landfill safely – that is, without toxic leaks – is 10 years better. The county has 10 years' more residents, almost 800,000 tons of trash a year from North County alone, and lessening space for it in landfills elsewhere. The extensive requirements of environmental regulation are 10 years stricter and 10 years closer to fulfillment. 

The orange-throated whiptail and other threatened or endangered species will not suffer. Among other preservation and mitigation measures, 1,313 acres of the 1,683-acre site are dedicated to open space for their protection. After the construction period, pollution from transporting waste will actually lessen, for the hauling distance will be far less. The landfill also will contribute to Caltrans for traffic safety improvements on state Route 76, funding not otherwise available. 

The landfill also will contribute some $50 million to county coffers. The "Multiple Rural Use Designation" alternative proposed by landfill opponents would be negligible in that regard.
Approval of Proposition B will only reward NIMBYism run amok with specious alarums. The Gregory Canyon landfill is on track to fill a growing North County need. Voting No on this proposition will keep it that way.

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