Homes Sending Less Trash to Landfills

In an early victory for the sluggish curbside recycling effort in Los Angeles, the amount of trash sent to landfills from West Valley homes participating in the program has dropped by more than one-third, according to sanitation officials.

Recycling is especially successful in parts of the West Valley and other areas of the city in which crews collect grass and yard clippings along with aluminum, glass, cardboard, plastic and newspapers, said Mike Miller, assistant director of the Bureau of Sanitation. The East Valley, which does not yet recycle yard waste, diverts only about 7% of its rubbish.

"Part of it is the amount of green waste in the West Valley, and part of it is that Valley people really respond to recycling efforts," Miller said. "We've seen a lot of enthusiasm for everything from our curbside recycling to the hazardous-waste roundups."

The curbside recycling program is vital to meet state requirements that cities cut the amount of waste they dump in landfills 25% by 1995 and 50% by the year 2000. Every Los Angeles household was scheduled to begin recycling by last September, but the program was stymied by a series of logistics setbacks.

As of this week, slightly more than one-third of the 120,000 homes in the West Valley are included in the curbside program, with 4,000 residences added each week, said Drew Sones, manager of the bureau's recycling and waste reduction division.

Although 61% of the city participates in the curbside recycling program, the West Valley and South-Central Los Angeles are the first regions to receive bins for yard waste along with containers for cans, bottles and some paper and non-recyclable trash, Sones said.

Recycling in South-Central, where yards are generally smaller than in the West Valley, has led to the diversion of 26% of participating homes' waste, Sones said. The East Valley and other areas of the city are scheduled to begin recycling clippings and grass in the summer of 1994, after the program is complete in the West Valley and South-Central.

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