There is a renewed call for an examination of a recycling operation outside Arvin.
It's the Community Recycling Company, a huge operation that has been in trouble with environmental quality authorities for years. Company administrators have been called before the board of supervisors several times, accused by county investigators of violating the permit under which they operate.
The deaths of two workers at the plant last week have brought new scruntiny. State Senator Michael J. Rubio(D) represented the area when he was on the board of supervisors and he says enough is enough, Community Recycling should be shut down.
The following is a news release from Clifford and Brown, representing Community Recycling:
On October 12, 2011, a tragic accident occurred at Community Recycling & Resource Recovery, Inc.’s mixed waste compost facility near Lamont. Two workers died while performing a routine cleaning of a permitted storm drain system to prepare for the
winter rains. In response to the order issued by the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health no storm drain cleaning will proceed until further guidance is provided by OSHA. Otherwise Community Recycling’s facility remains in
Contrary to media reports, Community Recycling has offered its condolences and its sympathies and made arrangements with the family of the deceased workers. In the spirit of honoring the family's privacy in their grief, Community Recycling will not
discuss the details of the arrangements that have been made unless requested by the immediate family.
Community Recycling’s plant composts yard clippings, produce culls and other materials into a finished compost product that is used on farms and fields throughout Kern County and California. The plant currently employs nearly 130 workers and helps
California achieve its mandated recycling goals.
Certain media reports reference prior land use violations that occurred several years ago. It is important to note that the stock
piles of crushed concrete and gypsum wallboard accumulated in 2007 never posed a danger to public health, and are wholly unrelated to the tragic accident earlier this month.
Community Recycling has operated in compliance with its Conditional Use Permit first issued by Kern County in 1993. Calls for the Kern County supervisors to take immediate action against Community Recycling are unwarranted.
Community Recycling emphasizes safety to its workers. We have taken precautions including regular safety training to avoid the type of accident that occurred earlier this month. The people of Kern County can rest assured that Community
Recycling will take every step to ensure that such an accident does not occur again. We are cooperating with all governmental entities including Federal and State agencies to investigate the cause of this accident. We believe it is important to allow those
investigations to run their course before coming to conclusions.