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Separating Organic Waste: How Los Angeles County's New Program is Promoting Sustainability



As many residents of Los Angeles County are aware, there have been recent changes to the way that we handle our waste. Specifically, a new program has been put in place that requires residents to separate their organic waste (food scraps, yard trimmings, etc.) from their other waste. The program, called Organics L.A., was ushered in through Senate Bill 1383. This is being done in order to help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, and to promote more sustainable methods of disposal.

There are a few key things to know about this program. First, residents will need to separate their organic waste into a separate bin or container. This can be done using a standard kitchen compost bin, or by using a special container provided by the county. Second, residents will need to make sure that their organic waste is properly cleaned and prepped before placing it in the designated container. This means that any food scraps should be removed from their packaging, and any yard trimmings should be cut up into smaller pieces.

The reason for this new rule is that organic waste makes up a significant portion of what ends up in landfills. When organic waste breaks down in a landfill, it produces methane gas, which is a potent greenhouse gas. By diverting this waste from landfills and instead composting it, we can reduce the amount of methane produced and help to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Another benefit of separating organic waste is that it can be used as a valuable resource. Composted organic waste can be used as a nutrient-rich soil amendment, which can improve the health and productivity of gardens, lawns, and farms. This is especially important in Los Angeles County, where many people rely on gardens and farms for their livelihoods.

It is worth noting that this applies only to single-family homes and duplexes. Multi-family residential properties, commercial properties and apartment buildings are not included in this new rule.

Beginning in 2024, fines will be imposed on those who mix non-organic waste with organic waste, with penalties up to $500.

This new program is an important step towards a more sustainable future. By taking a little extra time to properly sort and dispose of our waste, we can help to reduce the environmental impact of landfills and promote more sustainable methods of waste management

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