California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

News Release

Office of Public Affairs

For Immediate Release: June 24, 2014
Release #2014-18
For more information contact:
Media Contact: Heather Jones

CalRecycle Issues $2 Million in Cleanup Grants To Restore Public Properties

SACRAMENTO – Four blighted properties in California, including two old burn dumps, will be cleaned up with grant funding from the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).

The sites will be restored with funds from two different grants under CalRecycle’s Solid Waste Disposal and Codisposal Site Cleanup Program: The Legacy Disposal Site Abatement Partial Grants, and the Illegal Disposal Site Abatement Grants.

The legacy grants were created to help public agencies clean up properties that previously operated as public solid waste disposal facilities. The program provides up to $750,000 in matching reimbursement funds.

The illegal disposal site grants provide financial assistance to help public entities clean up and restore sites on which illegal dumping has created threats to public health and the environment. Such cleanups often also restore a site’s economic value. The program provides matching grants up to $500,000.

“These cleanup grants help local jurisdictions get on top of these public nuisances,” CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen said. “We can’t ignore these contaminated sites – the environmental threats compound as the sites are neglected, making cleanup that much more involved and expensive as cities and counties struggle to come up with the funds.”

The grant recipients are listed in the following table.

Legacy Disposal Site Abatement Partial Grant Amount
Humboldt Waste Management Authority $750,000.00
City of Laguna Beach $750,000.00
Illegal Disposal Site Abatement Grant  
City of Santa Monica $398,064.00
City of Hesperia $131,477.88
Total $2,029,541.88

The Humboldt Waste Management Authority will put its grant toward the total estimated $5.3 million cost to remediate the former Cummings Road Burn Ash Site. For about 40 years the area was used to dispose of solid waste through open air burning. In 1969, the burn dump operations ceased, and the Cummings Road Landfill was constructed over a portion of the burn dump. The remainder of the burn dump site is located on steep slopes with heavy vegetation. In the winter of 2005-2006, a series of storms caused a landslide that exposed the burn ash and debris, which subsequently slid into a nearby stream and creek that serve as habitat for steelhead and Coho salmon. The remediation project will remove all of the burn material from the slopes and dispose of it in the lined area of the Cummings Road Landfill.

The other legacy grant will go toward cleanup of the Water Tank Ravine Burn Site in Laguna Beach. From the late 1940s until the early 1970s, the facility received household waste and disposed of it by burning. The site is in a steep ravine in public open space. In 2010, heavy rains transported the burn ash and debris downstream to a residential area. The remediation project will remove all of the burn dump material from the ravine and will dispose of it properly. The Laguna Beach City Council has committed $1.3 million toward the cleanup. The area will remain as public open space in perpetuity.

The City of Santa Monica has a four-person crew that canvasses the city and responds to resident reports to clean up illegally dumped material. The CalRecycle grant will be used to expand the program and make a more concentrated effort in multi-family areas. The city also will start a multi-family bulky item collection program with pickup dates, and make every effort to ensure that the materials are recycled or reused as part of its zero-waste goals.

The City of Hesperia has identified several illegal disposal “hot spots” with the highest illegal dumping activity, which pose the biggest threats to human health and the environment. The city plans to clean up those areas, post signs prohibiting dumping, install surveillance cameras, and start a campaign to educate residents about the hazards of illegal dumping and to advertise its bulky item pickup programs.

The next deadline for grant submissions to the two programs is Aug. 5, 2014. Visit CalRecycle’s webpages for program requirements and application information about the Legacy Disposal Site Abatement Program and the Illegal Disposal Site Abatement Grant Program.

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