More than 1 million people call the Los Angeles County unincorporated areas (CUA) their home. The CUA is comprised of approximately 140 communities spread over more than 65 percent of the County's area – approximately 2,650 square miles – and represent approximately ten percent of the total Los Angeles County population. In 2005 and 2006, the County conducted a comprehensive waste characterization study for the waste generation, disposal and diversion practices seen throughout the CUA. It was found that the CUA generated approximately 2.9 million tons of materials, of which 482,535.9 tons, or 35.8% of the waste stream, was organics, making it the largest contributor to CUA waste generation.
The Smart Business Recycling Program was started in the 1990's to help businesses in the County unincorporated areas reduce the trash they generate and throw away. Through site visits, this program has offered free waste reduction consultations and educational outreach materials to businesses. Site visits involve conducting waste audits and making recommendations to implement recycling programs or enhance waste management practices. Over the years, the program has evolved to remain relevant to meet the needs of the businesses. Moving forward, the Smart Business Recycling Program will aim to help businesses, multi-family residences, and institutions comply with State laws including, Mandatory Commercial Recycling (AB 341) and Mandatory Organic Recycling (AB 1826). AB 341 requires businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week, schools, and multi-family residential dwellings of five units or more to recycle. Additionally, AB 1826 phases in requirements for businesses, multi-family residences and schools that generate specified amounts of organic waste to arrange for organic waste recycling services beginning April 1, 2016 through January 1, 2019. It further supports the State's (CalRecycle) overall goal of diverting 75% of solid waste from landfill disposal.
The Smart Business Recycling Program can also help the County achieve its targets in its Roadmap to a Sustainable Waste Management Future (Roadmap). You can read more about the County's Roadmap and its efforts here
The Smart Business Recycling Program's goal is to help businesses, multi-family properties, and schools in the County unincorporated areas comply with newly enacted laws, AB 341 and AB 1826, and to support the County's Roadmap to a Sustainable Waste Management Future.