Other cities have zero waste policies but L.A.’s new contract requirements are being touted as the nation’s toughest, and are being studied carefully by New York City, San Diego and others.
Six years ago, when I moved from a bungalow to a swank apartment near Venice Beach, I was dismayed to learn my building had no recycling bin. Instead, a single, beat-up dumpster sat behind the structure in an alleyway to receive unsorted trash from residents in all nine units.
You have to hand it to libertarian writer John Tierney. He doesn’t give up easily. His long-winded 1996 article, “Recycling Is Garbage,” allegedly smashed the New York Times Magazine‘s hate-mail record. It covered the same ground as his recent New York Times op-ed, “The Reign of Recycling,” stating: “Recycling may be the most wasteful activity […]
Imagine walking outside and breathing fresh air instead of today’s exhaust. Imagine taking your lunch scraps to a compost bin while a modern trash truck makes its way down your street. And then imagine the convenience of tossing your recyclables into a blue bin, and knowing that this has lowered your trash bill while helping […]
On Tuesday — April Fools’ Day no less — Los Angeles’ City Council nearly unanimously approved the Zero Waste LA Franchise System, which would make it the first and largest city nationally to adopt a robust plan to move towards Zero Waste. The Zero Waste LA Franchise System, under the direction of the City of […]
You may have seen Puente Hills while driving the 60 Freeway east of Los Angeles. It looks like a 700-acre, 450-foot-high, tree-covered mountain. However, only a few small hills were there when the facility opened in 1957. The mountain itself is made from seven decades of Southern California’s waste. Puente Hills Landfill accepted its final […]
Many of us try to be diligent about putting our empty bottles and cans in the blue recycling bin, but what do we do with our apple peels and coffee grounds? Can our lunch leftovers impact the air we breathe and the local economy? All too often, these food scraps end up in a landfill, […]
This week the Partnership for Working Families released Transforming Trash in Urban America, a report that underscores the urgent need to reform the way America’s largest cities deal with their trash. The report reviewed the waste management infrastructure of the top 37 metropolitan areas in the United States and found that environmentally unsound waste disposal […]
Progress, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Witness the reaction to today’s landmark L.A. City Council vote, approving the implementation plan for a far-reaching overhaul of the city’s multi-family and commercial waste and recycling system. The plan, which passed 10-3, puts L.A. squarely in the forefront of a growing national movement to […]
There’s a growing impatience amongst those committed to pushing L.A. to meet its ambitious Zero Waste goals. For years, the Don’t Waste LA Coalition, which includes Sierra Club, Coalition for Clean Air, Sustain L.A. and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), has been pushing to address the large portion of trash that goes to landfills […]
Last week the L.A. Bureau of Sanitation released its initial draft implementation plan for moving to an exclusive franchise for businesses and large apartment buildings in the City of Los Angeles. As you recall, at the November vote, the L.A, City Council asked the Bureau to return in 90 days to provide an update on […]
When I moved to East Hollywood a number of years ago, I asked a friend who lived next door if it was a quiet neighborhood. “No,” she said, “there’s a different trash truck every morning, sometimes more than one, sometimes at 6 a.m. If it weren’t for that, it would be quiet.” Unfortunately, she was […]
The best measure of progress is often the desperation of its opponents. So if there were any doubt about the significance of Wednesday’s L.A. City Council vote to transform the city’s multi-family and commercial waste and recycling system, the shrillness of those in the minority offered final proof. “This is the day justice and democracy […]
Over the last couple of years, I’ve blogged about waste reform in the City of Los Angeles. Following is a summary of where we are with the proposed waste reform so folks just tuning in, and those who have followed the twists and turns, have one central place for background as our the city council takes […]
When you compare big business’ rationale for opposing an exclusive commercial waste franchise system with the proposal they’re pushing for now, the two are hard to distinguish. Don’t Waste LA is calling for an exclusive franchise system to serve our businesses and apartment complexes, consistent with the path taken by 55 other Los Angeles and […]
Last week, more than 30 citations were issued by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) to a waste recycling company called American Reclamation, Inc., its subsidiaries and a temporary employment agency. The citations dealt with serious violations at a material recovery facility in Los Angeles, which is where trash is sorted by hand […]