Recycling on Way to Most of Westside : Waste: Most neighborhoods will have a curbside program by June, 1991.


Recycling is coming to a curbside near you.

Spurred by an acute shortage of landfill space and a new state law requiring dramatic reductions in solid waste, most Westside residents soon will be asked to begin separating recyclable material from their garbage.

Santa Monica has had an extensive curbside collection program in operation for years. West Hollywood provides curbside pickup in limited areas and a cash prize to encourage recycling.

In Los Angeles, pilot programs are under way in Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Beverlywood, Cheviot Hills and the Crenshaw district as the city gears up for one of the nation’s biggest recycling efforts.


By November, 1991, Los Angeles plans to have weekly curbside recycling for all single-family homes and apartment buildings with four units or less. Most Westside neighborhoods in Los Angeles, with the exception of the Crenshaw district, should have curbside recycling even earlier--by June of next year.

A single plastic bin will be provided to each Los Angeles household for collection of metal, cans, glass, and plastic bottles. Newspapers are to be placed on top of the bin, and the bin set out alongside the regular trash. The recyclables will be sold to private companies, which will separate and sell the materials for reuse.

Participation will be voluntary, at least at first, although the City Council may decide to set up a system of incentives or penalties if landfill problems worsen.

Like most communities, Los Angeles has not decided how to promote recycling in offices, commercial buildings and larger apartment and condominium complexes where trash is collected by private haulers.

The massive Los Angeles program, involving 720,000 households, is a response to a new state law requiring communities to cut 25% of their trash by 1995 and 50% by the year 2000.

Passed last year, the law has forced communities to embrace recycling to reduce the massive amounts of trash now going into landfills. The city of Los Angeles alone produces 16,000 tons of trash daily.

Finding markets for the recyclable material poses a potentially serious problem. The price for recycled newspapers dropped so sharply last year that some cities had to pay to have them hauled away. Others were forced to bury tons of recycled glass in landfills because no buyer could be found.

There is concern that Los Angeles’ massive city-wide program could flood the market. But city officials said they have four companies willing to buy the material and are looking for others.

“There are problems right now finding markets,” said Jon Root, a marketing specialist for Santa Monica’s recycling program. “The big problem right now is with the glass market.”

Root said some communities have had difficulty finding a buyer for mixed glass of different colors.

City and state officials say legislation may be necessary to force government agencies to use recycled materials. Agencies may have to provide subsidies to recycling companies and tax credits to businesses that process and reuse materials.

Despite the recent surge in recycling, it is nothing new.

Santa Monica has had a recycling program since 1982. The city collects metal, glass, plastic bottles and newspapers and used motor oil in sealed containers from 13,000 homes, duplexes and triplexes every two weeks. Another 34,000 households in apartment and condominium projects can use large recycling bins, usually located in the alley behind their building.

Los Angeles has had a pilot recycling program in Pacific Palisades and Brentwood since March, 1985. In the largest program of its kind in the city, recyclable material is collected from 15,000 households every other week.

Unlike most curbside recycling, in which all recyclable material is mixed together, residents in the Pacific Palisades area place glass, newspapers, metal and plastic into separate bins.

“That program is working very well,” said Gyl Elliott, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Sanitation. “Most people just love it.”

Elliott said about 40% of the households are participating in the voluntary program.

A different pilot program, using the single-bin system that will eventually be in use citywide, is in operation in selected areas of Cheviot Hills, Beverlywood, Westchester and Crenshaw.

The city’s full-blown recycling effort is scheduled to begin this September in the North Central collection area, which includes Hollywood and Hancock Park.

Plans call for the program to be expanded to 120,000 households in the Westside collection area by June, 1991. That area includes Pacific Palisades, Bel-Air, Beverly Glen, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Brentwood, Century City, Rancho Park, Palms, Venice, Mar Vista, Playa del Rey and Westchester.

And in November, 1991, curbside recycling is to begin in the South Central collection area, including the Crenshaw district.

The other Westside city with a recycling program already up and running is West Hollywood. There, recyclable materials are now being collected from 2,500 residences--single-family homes and apartment buildings with four units or less. The program will be expanded to 4,300 residences before the end of the year.

Waste Management of California, which handles trash collection for the city, has distributed three crates to each household to separate cans and plastic, glass, and newspapers. The city hopes to provide large recycling bins for apartment buildings.

Thanks to a $2,400 state grant, West Hollywood is giving residents a financial incentive to recycle. Each month, the city inspects a home at random to see if the occupants are recycling. If they are, they receive a $200 cash prize. If not, the pot grows to $400. The first prize was awarded last month.

In Beverly Hills, there is no curbside recycling, but the city has established seven drop-off recycling centers for glass, plastic, aluminum and newspapers. A curbside program is being considered.

Culver City has no curbside collection program either, but it provides recycling bins at nine locations. City crews remove cardboard, metal and lumber from garbage at the city’s trash transfer station. The city is beginning to examine its options for complying with state requirements.

So far, there are no curbside recycling programs in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, such as Malibu, Marina del Rey, Ladera Heights and View Park. Trash collection there is by private contractors. However, David Yamahara, deputy director of the Department of Public Works, said curbside recycling is expected to eventually be the backbone of the county’s efforts to reduce trash from unincorporated areas.

Times staff writers Julio Moran, John L. Mitchell and Barbara Koh contributed to this story.



Curbside collection of newspapers, cans, glass and plastic from single-family homes and apartment buildings with four units or less is being phased in later this year throughout the city. Here is the Westside schedule:

Westside Collection District, serving most of the Westside neighborhoods, starts collection in June, 1991.

North-Central Collection District, including Hancock Park and most of Hollywood, starts in September, 1990.

South-Central Collection District, including most of the Crenshaw District, starts in November, 1991.

Pilot programs are under way in parts of Westchester, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills, Crenshaw and Beverlywood. There are no immediate plans to serve commercial buildings, condominiums or large apartment complexes, all of which are served by private trash haulers.


The city’s recycling program, the oldest on the Westside, provides curbside collection of glass, plastic, cans and newspapers from 13,000 homes, duplexes and triplexes every two weeks. An additional 34,000 households are served by recycling bins, most of them placed in alleys behind the buildings.


Curbside collection of glass, plastic, cans and newspapers is provided for 2,500 single-family dwellings and rental units in apartment buildings of less than five units. An expansion to reach additional homes and apartments is planned before the end of the year. The city provides cash prizes to encourage recycling.


No curbside pickup. The city has established seven drop-off recycling centers for glass, plastic, aluminum and newspapers. Plans are being developed for a possible curbside collection program.


No curbside collection. Drop-off recycling bins at nine locations. City crews remove cardboard, metal and lumber from garbage at trash transfer station.


Los Angeles County has no curbside collection program in Marina del Rey, Malibu, View Park or Ladera Heights, and no immediate plans for any. Some neighborhoods have private recycling centers or drop-off points.