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EYE ON OUR ENVIRONMENT | Community clean up has come a long way – VC Reporter

EYE ON OUR ENVIRONMENT | Community clean up has come a long way – VC Reporter

PICTURED:A truck loaded with bulky items is ready to be disposed of. Local waste collectors now have the option of bulky item pickup.

David Goldstein

Ventura County’s waste disposal was a community activity until the 1950s. Neighbors would haul their own waste, caravan or meet up at local dumps. Sometimes they would return home with more material than they had taken.

Some of these sites like the Ojai Valley Burn Dump, owned by the public sector, burnt flammable items at night. Others, like Robert Walkers Seeers by the Sea in Ventura, charged for the privilege of scavenging. Walker, who recalled the glory days of his business over three decades ago, joked that his company’s name was a pun on Sears and compared it to the largest local retailer of the day.

Fortunately, waste collection companies and municipal fleets are now able to provide professional collection services for our communities. Collectors are granted exclusive rights to collect residential garbage and recyclables and place them neatly at curbs. Collectors must usually include a provision for free disposal or recycling of items that are too large to be put in curbside carts.

Residents can have bulky items picked up at their curbside pickup as a way to help local collectors fulfill this obligation. Residents living outside cities can request two items to be collected up to twice per calendar year. The limit in most cities is two items per year.

Ventura, Fillmore, Fillmore, and Camarillo have a contract with E. J. Harrison and Sons to provide bulky item pickup services for residents. Residents can place up to two couches, mattresses or other items at the curb once per year. Residents can arrange for pickup by calling the hauler at (805-647-1414).

Local haulers are contractually required to fulfill bulky item collection obligations by helping local jurisdictions host community cleanups. Ventura County Public Works Agency will host ten free events for residents of targeted unincorporated areas between April 23rd to Oct. 22.

Similar events are planned for cities. For example, Ventura residents who need ID or a utility bill will be attending the next event on May 21. There are approximately 300 appointment slots online. 805-652-4525. Participants must also answer a key question on the city’s appointment form. Have you considered donating or using reuse options for items that are in good condition?

Many of these events have a reuse zone, where the best items are left for others to take. However, these exchanges, which go back to the days when Seeers by the sea were popular, often fail to rescue all valuable items. Many cleanups end with items being disposed of in the reuse area.

Residents can drop off bulky items at their curbside pickup, and Oxnard provides free drop-off days at the Del Norte Recycling and Transfer Station. Each of the four city regions will have roll-off containers available at a central location to be recycled or disposed of at the next neighborhood event on Aug. 13. Residents who are verified by their ID or utility bills will be permitted to dispose of bulky items, as well as electronic waste and tires with no rims. This is in addition to items that are not permitted at other events.

Residents of Simi Valley and Moorpark and Thousand Oaks, as well as adjacent unincorporated communities, benefit from a partnership between Waste Managements (WM), Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center. Residents are entitled to free use of Simi Landfill on certain days each year. These days are designated for recycling. The Simi Landfill has separate areas for concrete, asphalt and yard clippings/wood.

See Also

Thousand Oaks residents now have access to Calabasas Landfill through a new contract with Athens Services. They can dispose of up two vehicle loads in three days each year.

No scavenging is permitted at landfills due to the operation of landfills and heavy equipment. The days of community gatherings at the dump have been replaced with safe and efficient disposal of waste. However, all of the new spring cleaning programs are important to prevent illegal dumping and increase recycling, while reducing participants disposal costs.

More information can be found online at:

David Goldstein is an Environmental Resource Analyst for the Ventura County Public Works Agency. You can reach him at 805-658-4113 or

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