VIDEO: Don’t Waste LA

Authors: Claudia Preparata | Research Director, Green For All

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On America Recycles Day (November 15th), Green For All’s Los Angeles-based partner, The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) launched its Don’t Waste LA Campaign. Don’t Waste LA is a coalition of community, environmental, faith and labor organizations calling for standards in the waste industry that services businesses and apartment complexes.

Too many Angelenos can't recycle at work or at home. Where does the trash go?
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Los Angeles leads other major cities like Chicago, Dallas and New York when it comes to recycling paper, metal, plastic, glass and organic waste from its residents. When it comes to managing waste in the commercial sector, the city fares much worse.

Waste haulers in this sector have no legal obligation to separate the trash businesses or apartment complexes generate, and in many cases, waste of all types is transported in the same container to landfills. Waste in schools, hospitals, businesses and apartment complexes send more than 2.5 million tons of waste to landfills in Southern California each year.

The Don't Waste LA Campaign also looks to address deplorable wages and working conditions in the commercial sector and bring them in line with the standards that workers enjoy in the residential sector. A product of a highly deregulated "free for all" market, the lack of standards and minimal oversight in the commercial sector have produced a market of poverty, illness and disease.

On the other hand, the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation handles residential waste from single-family homes, and the workers it employs are public employees earning middle-class salaries with health benefits, alongside job-training opportunities to minimize the risk of worksite injury and illness.

Join Don’t Waste LA and help transform the commercial sector and change its method of garbage collection, purchase green trucks, and provide better quality working conditions for the thousands of waste management workers who face unfair and unsafe environments.

Through our efforts we can improve the environment and at the same time build our economy through more good green jobs in the waste and recycling industry.

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