The city of Glendora joined several other San Gabriel Valley municipalities this month in offering a greens-recycling program.
"When we used to take green waste and dump it, that was 20 more tons of waste" each day, said Larry Schroeder, finance director for the city of more than 49,000 residents.
Now, yard waste--grass clippings, leaves, twigs and branches--is collected separately, then mulched for fertilizer or ground up and used instead of dirt as a daily cover for the landfill, in this case the Puente Hills Landfill.
If every city recycled green waste, landfill mass could be reduced by 10%, said Joe Haworth, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts. "Ten percent at this site, (Puente Hills), is literally 1,000 tons a day," Haworth said.
In addition, green waste, unlike a soil cover, decomposes to form methane, which the landfill converts to electricity or uses to power specialized vehicles.
The greens recycling helps cities to comply with a state law requiring them to reduce waste to landfills by 25% by 1995 and 50%, from 1990 levels, by the year 2000.
Other San Gabriel cities have greens-recycling programs in place already, said Janet L. Coke, a civil engineer with the County Sanitation Districts. Among those are Alhambra, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Claremont, Monrovia, La Verne, Pasadena and San Gabriel.