July 14 - New Study Looks at Los Angeles Recycling Challenges, Opportunities

The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) outlines how Los Angeles can divert more recyclable materials from landfills in its recently released report "Cleaning Up Waste and Recycling Management and Securing the Benefits."

The San Gabriel Valley News reports that the study was compiled as "a blueprint to show communities how to work toward the statewide goal of 75 percent landfilling reduction by 2020 and to better address changes related to the management of organic waste.

“It’s estimated that L.A. County as a whole is diverting about 60 percent of its waste from landfills,” Lauren Ahkiam, a senior research and policy analyst at LAANE, told the San Gabriel Valley News. “They’ve done the low-hanging fruit — that’s providing single-family homes with waste, green waste and recycling containers. But we want to expand that to include every business and apartment building.”

Californians Against Waste, which sponsored the bill creating the 75 percent statewide recycling rate goal, has also successfully sponsored a law taking effect 2016 that will require businesses, including apartment complexes, to divert their organic waste from landfills, through composting or organic recycling. Food is the most prevalent item in the waste stream and a third of the material going to landfills is readily compostable.