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Pomona residents against proposed landfill

September 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hundreds of teachers, parents and residents in Pomona marched on City Hall and held a rally Wednesday. They protested what they argue will be dirty, smelly, unhealthy air if a proposed waste transfer station is allowed to be built in the city.

The more than 10-acre facility would be constructed at 1371 East Ninth Street, which is within a mile of nearly a dozen schools. Protesters packed a Planning Commission hearing on the issue Wednesday night.

"They are polluting our air and we don't need trash on our city," said parent Roselia Vasquez. "We can find another place to put it in."

"I am opposed to this because it is going to cause great health risk to the students in Pomona and also to the residents, it's going to cause a lot of traffic," said Dorothy Kim, a teacher. "It is just a social injustice to the families of Pomona."

Waste transfer stations are facilities where smaller trash collection trucks dump their loads so that they can be moved into large trucks and taken to landfills. Protesters argue an existing waste transfer station in the city is much smaller than the proposed facility and does not pose nearly as much risk to the air quality.

David Perez is president of Valley Vista Services, the company that would build and manage the proposed project. Company officials say their building would have the latest in green technology and its fleet of trucks would be powered with cleaner burning compressed natural gas. They add with the nearest landfill to Pomona closing in less than two years, the city has to think of other options.

"Landfills are closing and the city has to process its waste for the next 50 years and we are here to do that," Perez said. "Obviously, people have concerns. Trash is not a sexy issue and it causes people some concern. We've fine tuned this thing to make it as pleasing as possible and to make it the best neighbor as possible."

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