To search for model legislation, research, reports, and more, type your area of interest into the search bar above. You can filter your search by state, level of government, document type, and policy area to match the info you need to your unique community’s progressive goals.
There is no good business case for trash incineration. Burning trash is the most expensive form of electricity generation, creates pollution that raises health costs to the public, destroys valuable resources, and produces the fewer jobs than comparable capital projects. The trash incineration industry markets themselves as “energy from waste” or “waste-to-energy” as if they’re primarily power plants, buy no one builds trash incinerators to produce energy. They are primarily waste disposal facilities with energy generation as a “secondary function,” as the industry has admitted on the record Incineration is the most expensive way to produce electricity. It increases health care costs for people and is not an efficient producer of jobs.
Under the City's RENEW LA Plan, the City committed reaching Zero Waste by diverting 70% of the solid waste generated in the City by 2013, diverting 90% by 2025, and becoming a zero waste city by 2030. State law currently requires at least 50% solid waste diversion and establishes a state-wide goal of 75% diversion by 2020. Moreover, state law requires mandatory commercial recycling in all businesses and multifamily complexes and imposes additional reporting requirements on local agencies, including the City. In order to meet these requirements and goals, increasing recycling and diversion in the commercial and multifamily waste sectors is imperative. The commercial and multifamily sectors produce most of the City's solid waste. Currently, a significant amount of commercial and multifamily solid waste generated in the City, including recyclables and organics, is going to landfills, resulting in unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. The City has a responsibility under state law to ensure effective and efficient waste and recycling service for its businesses and residents. It will most successfully fulfill that responsibility, and also meet its own Zero Waste policy goals, by ensuring that its solid waste, including recyclables and organics, are collected, transported and processed in a manner that reduces environmental and social impacts on the City and the region.
This report evaluates LA County's waste and recycling systems highlight how localities can keep costs down while maintaining quality and equitable service. The report finds exclusive franchise systems provide the county to the best deal.
Resolving our society’s trash problem is one of the major environmental challenges of our time. In Los Angeles County, this crisis has reached urgent proportions. As one of the largest waste markets in the country, Los Angeles County generates 23 million tons of waste and recyclable materials and sends over 10 million tons of waste to landfills each year. Many of the remaining landfills in the county will reach capacity and close in the coming years, and officials project that as early as 2014, we will be making more trash than our landfills can handle. The City of Los Angeles creates a third of the county’s waste that goes to landfills and therefore has a major role to play in addressing this crisis. Recognizing this, the City has set an ambitious and worthy goal of becoming a zero waste city by 2030. However, reaching this goal will be impossible without reforming the dysfunctional and inefficient trash collection and processing system for the City’s businesses and large apartment complexes. Reforming this system is key to reaching not only the City’s recycling goals but also its goal of creating new green jobs in the recycling sector. In the midst of one of the worst economic crises in modern history, the City of Los Angeles’ unemployment rate stands at an alarming 14 percent. By raising standards for the waste industry, the City can create good green jobs to put people back to work, bring families out of poverty and rebuild the local economy.
Managing a city’s waste and recycling sector is a core governmental responsibility and, when done well, helps cities realize benefits and meet constituents’ expectations. Residents expect government to prevent pollution and protect neighborhoods, create good quality jobs, and operate transparently and efficiently. Cities can do just that by cleaning up waste and recycling management, and establishing practices in full compliance with California laws that call for an increase in recycling. City staff often lack the time and resources needed to comprehensively research and resolve the complex issues of waste and recycling management. Management practices differ, with varying degrees of effectiveness. Some cities directly manage waste collection; others award exclusive service contracts to franchised waste haulers. Others enter into non-exclusive franchise agreements with multiple companies, while a few require only a hauler permit. Bringing together years of research and analysis in waste and recycling management, this report provides solutions – and a blueprint for cities to follow. The report concludes that strong municipal and exclusive franchise systems are the best ways for cities to manage waste and recycling, and defines the best practices that cities should adopt to fine-tune these systems and secure benefits. Cities with open permit or non-exclusive franchise systems should begin the transition to an exclusive franchise waste system for maximum benefits.
In this report, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) outline a new model for recycling job growth with the potential to encourage quality jobs and to improve the environment. LAANE is advocating for a transformation of the waste and recycling industry in Los Angeles while promoting good jobs, thriving communities and a healthy environment. Developing a clean recycling economy can be one of the greatest economic and environmental opportunities of our time. Despite a global resource crisis, Los Angeles is on the verge of transforming its waste and recycling system into a national model that will result in maximum recycling and reuse of materials for economic benefit, with government and industry as a strategic partner in managing resources, and a sustainable workforce infrastructure for skilled laborers, entrepreneurs, and innovators.