Earth Day is the birthday of the modern environmental movement in the U.S. and across the globe. Today, on this 44th Earth Day, the City of Los Angeles – the second largest in the nation and a mighty economic engine on the West Coast—celebrates its commitment to environmental protections and sustainability with a model Zero Waste ordinance just signed into law by Mayor Eric Garcetti. The days when the city sent three to four million tons of trash to landfills every year from apartment and commercial buildings are ending. Now, Los Angeles is set to achieve the highest recycling rates and best standards of environmental protection from the greenhouse gas emissions, air and groundwater pollution, and loss of recyclable material resources associated with our waste management.
Landfilling or burning millions of tons of trash subjects our residents and our environment to a distressing assault. Landfills and poorly regulated facilities disproportionately impact low income communities of color—as these communities are either employed or housed in close proximity,