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More than 30 years after the launch of the City of Los Angeles’ pilot residential curbside recycling program in 1985, recycling services will be provided to all businesses and large multifamily buildings with five or more units. Over the last three decades, Angelenos have been moving toward zero waste. In 2017, recycling will be a citywide effort for the first time.

Pilot Recycling Program for 15,000 single family homes was launched in West Los Angeles. Separate bins were provided to collect newspaper (green tote bin), glass (yellow tote bin), and metal cans (red tote bin).


California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (AB 939) was adopted by the State to regulate solid waste management. It mandated 25 percent diversion of solid waste by 1995 and 50 percent by 2000.

Citywide Recycling Program was launched for 720,000 single family homes. In 1991, the residential black trash bin program was launched, followed by the residential green yard trimming bin program in 1993.

Diversion and recycling rate at 20.6 percent.

Single Stream (or “Commingled”) Recycling Program was launched to replace the separate bins for the collection of paper, glass, and metal cans with one 14-gallon yellow recycling bin.

Diversion and recycling rate at 46 percent, surpassing the State mandated 25 percent rate.

Lopez Canyon Landfill, owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles since 1975, was closed with 19.2 million tons of waste. It was the last of five landfills owned by the City to close.

Automated Blue Bin Recycling Program was launched to increase the size of the collection bin from the 14-gallon yellow bin to the 90-gallon blue bin.

Diversion and recycling rate at 50 percent, three years ahead of the AB 939 mandate.

Clean Fuel Program was launched with a pilot testing of 10 dual-fuel solid resources collection vehicles. In 2016 more than 75 percent of the heavy-duty collection fleet had been converted to clean fuel. The use of clean fuel vehicles resulted in a 90 percent reduction of carbon monoxide and particulate matter emissions, and more than a 50 percent reduction of nitrogen oxide.

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Pilot Blue Bin Recycling Program was launched with elementary schools in the City of Los Angeles. In 2006, all LAUSD schools in the city were invited to join the program. More than 700 schools were enrolled before the transition of all middle schools and high schools to a LAUSD contractor.


Certified Processor Program and Private Hauler Rebate Program were launched to strengthen the Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris Recycling Program by including C&D waste in the rebate program and adding C&D processing facilities to the list of certified processing facilities. The City also began to track C&D tonnage diverted to Certified Processors.


Plastics Recycling Program for synthetic materials numbered 1 to 7 was launched to include plastics in the residential blue bin recycling program. Plastics were added to the recycling of paper, cardboard, glass, and metals.

Recovering Energy, Natural Resources, and Economic Benefit (RENEW LA) Policy was adopted by the City of Los Angeles. The goals were to reduce, reuse, recycle, and/or convert to energy the solid resources sent to landfills.

Diversion and recycling rate at 65.2 percent.


California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) was adopted by the State to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from all sources and mitigate the risks associated with climate change. Landfills which produce methane, a GHG, were targeted among other emission sources.


City stakeholders developed a 20 year master Solid Waste Integrated Resources Plan (SWIRP), also known as the Zero Waste Plan, to reduce waste, increase recycling, and manage trash in the city. SWIRP became the roadmap for how the City would manage solid resources generated in the city through the year 2030.

Multifamily Recycling Program was launched to provide recycling services to large multifamily buildings with five or more units on a voluntary basis. More than 400,000 of the City's 665,000 units, or 60%, partnered with LASAN to recycle.


Mandatory Commercial Recycling (AB 341) was adopted by the State to divert solid waste generated by businesses and institutions. The mandate established a 75 percent diversion of solid waste from landfill by the year 2020.

Diversion and recycling rate at 76.4 percent.


Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling (AB 1826) was adopted by the State to reduce and recycle organic waste, which included food waste and green materials such as grass and flower cuttings, leaves, and hedge trimmings.

Los Angeles Green Business Program was launched to recognize businesses that met energy and water efficiency as well as waste diversion standards and adhered to sustainability best management practices.

Exclusive Commercial and Large Multifamily Waste Hauling Franchise System was adopted by the City of Los Angeles to establish new public private partnerships for the collection of solid waste and recyclables from all commercial, industrial, and large multifamily customers in the city. Also known as Zero Waste LA, the program is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2017.