City Widens Scope of Polystyrene Ban

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Malibu City Council held a productive meeting Monday, checking off several diverse items from its agenda including providing an update on the civic center sewer’s progress, widening its polystyrene ban to include items made of the non-recyclable plastic beyond styrofoam, voting to support Assembly Bill 2422 to prohibit the use of anticoagulant rodenticides statewide and providing more details on a plan to provide meals for the homeless at the old Malibu Courthouse.

Sewer project running on schedule

Connections to the Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Facility could be coming before summer begins, according to estimates provided by city officials Monday.

“We’re hoping, if everything’s going right with the wastewater plant, in the next few weeks, we’ll start making our connections to the wastewater plant,” Public Works Director Rob Duboux said, adding, “We’ll be making our connections to the Lumber Yard in the  next two, three weeks.”

The project, which began in 2016 after decades of resistance from many in the city, is set to meet the schedule enforced by the Regional Water Board.


Polystyrene ban

According to Environmental Director Craig George, the city’s ban on polystyrene does not include a ban on other plastics made of polystyrene. Some of those items include clear plastic lids used in takeout container—sometimes mismarked as recyclable. 

“I think the first thing we need to do, and staff is recommending, we reconsider the definition of polystyrene, so it not only covers polystyrene foam, but solid polystyrene, rigid polystyrene,” George said, showing a polystyrene lid. “It even has a resin coating on it that indicates it is recyclable. It is not.” 

According to George, there is no way to recycle or compost the materials in Malibu, so that language, in the original ordinance, should be removed as well.

“The whole market has disappeared for that—polystyrene is something that is not recyclable and it’s also not compostable,” George said.

The ordinance would also ban the sale of polystyrene products in markets, not just restaurants. That includes foam cups and plates, and items made of rigid polystyrene plastic like certain forks and straws.


Rodenticide bill

Assembly Member Richard Bloom—who represents Malibu—has introduced new legislation (AB2422) that would ban the use of anticoagulant rodenticide across the State of California. On Monday, a letter in support of the bill was approved by all five members of Malibu’s city council, after urging from Council Member Laura Rosenthal. That letter was sent out Tuesday morning in time for the bill’s hearing before a committee Tuesday.

“I think that this is so important,” Rosenthal said. “Especially for Malibu and especially for the Santa Monica Mountains, to be able to control the use of these and to use less of them for our human and especially our animal population.”

“The time is now,” Council Member Skylar Peak agreed.

On Tuesday, the bill passed the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials.


Homeless meals

A couple weeks back, an agreement was struck between the City of Malibu and Los Angeles County for the use of the old Malibu Courthouse as a location to provide meals to homeless individuals in the city.

On Monday, City Manager Reva Feldman provided some preliminary details about what form that program may take.

“We’re still trying to finalize the actual days of the week we would be able to use that facility and that space, based on the cleaning schedule,” Feldman shared. “We’re looking at doing two days a month during the week, and the reason we’re choosing days of the week rather than a weekend day is the county is interested in providing other services.”

Those services may resemble the ones offered at “homeless connect days,” which also take place in the courthouse, and Pepperdine University has stepped up to offer support as well.

Feldman said Pepperdine was “very interested in being a partner with the city and the county and the faith community to make this a substantial program,” and may contribute financially.