Zero Waste Committee

In 2014 the Foundation contributed about $3200 to the Angeles Chapter’s Zero Waste Committee from donors responding to the Foundation’s year-end solicitation of December 2013.  These donations funded the Zero Waste Committee’s “Organics Project”, which aims to keep food scraps and yard clippings out of landfills, in which they take up space and decompose, releasing methane in the process.

Funding of the Organics Project is applied to:

  1. publish outreach material for delivery to city officials and residents;
  2. recruit and organize volunteers to speak at community events;
  3. encourage local officials, in a carefully planned campaign, to adopt policies and practices that will transform organics from methane-producing additions to landfills into compost for sustainable enrichment of agricultural soil.

One component of the Organics Project was a survey to determine how cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties manage food scraps and yard trimmings.  This nutrient-rich and carbon-rich material makes up 35 percent of municipal refuse, and is often wasted when dumped into landfills while it could be composted and used to replenish agricultural soils.  The committee evaluated survey responses and rated cities by awarding points to policies, programs, practices and plans that indicate a proactive and environmentally sound approach to organics management.

The Organics campaign began with the Angeles Chapter, and its success has led to its becoming a national project for the Sierra Club.

[Header image: Sheldon-Arleta landfill, owned by Los Angeles City’s Bureau of Sanitation. A baseball park will be developed at this site through a grant from the California Waste Management Board. Credit: City of Los Angeles]