John H. Rudolph wasn’t happy with his household hazardous waste disposal options, specifically when the Oxnard resident realized that the nearest disposal site was in Camarillo.
“I have finally learned (with the help of your pamphlet),” he wrote to Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-Woodland Hills), “that Oxnard residents are supposed to make an appointment for a specific time of day on the second Friday or second Saturday of the month. In other words, there are only 24 days in each year set aside for the disposal of [household hazardous waste] and the disposer is expected to drive to the neighboring city of Camarillo with his [household hazardous waste] in his own car or in a borrowed or rented vehicle (to arrive between 1 and 3 p.m.).”
Randolph’s own experiences in trying to dispose of his household waste were frustrating. As he acknowledged in his letter, “No household wishes to keep the same [household hazardous waste] for more than a year.”
He called the City of Oxnard’s waste disposal plan “too inconvenient, and very likely to be misunderstood on the basis of current information.”
“You have to imagine what initiative the average citizen has on these matters,” he said. “The average citizen figures a few items aren’t important, and will dump it in the normal trash instead of driving all the way to Camarillo.”
After following up, Brownley said she was satisfied that the recycling manager called Randolph to arrange a pick-up time.
“On the other hand, I think this [issue] isn’t specific to Ventura, I think it’s specific to all of California,” Brownley said. “I think we as a state need to do a better job in terms of having more collection points in terms of household waste. We as a state need to do more.”
But Brownley argued that Ventura County’s waste collection is more comprehensive than similar programs throughout the state.
“I would advocate that the state should be offering assistance to cities like Oxnard to make it viable for those cities to have collection points.”
Brownley also said that every household should have a good understanding of drop-off points and disposal options.
“It is just as natural to drop off household waste, hazardous waste, electronic waste, as it is to recycle in your home, and that’s the way it should be.”
Randolph agreed, but said, “It takes a while to get a live person on the end.”
(Calls to the City of Oxnard, Solid Waste Division, City Public Works Agency were not immediately returned.)
Don Sheppard, environmental resource analyst for the County of Ventura, Integrated Waste Management Division, also suggested that residents of Oxnard and Port Hueneme should take advantage of the Del Norte Regional Recycling and Transfer Station, where recyclable hazardous materials (like electronic waste, fluorescent lights, motor oil and alkaline batteries) are accepted without appointment.
Meanwhile, Brownley has worked to address a different issue: that of electronic waste. In February she introduced the “E-Waste” bill (AB 546) which, she says, would ensure that at the point of purchase for a new computer, consumers would be provided with information on where to dispose of their old system.
Randolph did finally have his household hazardous waste collected, but, he said, “I was made to feel that I was the only one who had any household waste.”
The Del Norte Regional Recycling and Transfer Station is located at 111 S. Del Norte Blvd., Oxnard. For information, call 278-8200.