Posted on March 30, 2009. Filed under: California senior citizens, California State University at Northridge, CSUN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The Los Angeles Department of Sanitation met at CSUN recently. It was to continue to get citizen’s ideas about which way to go while trying to do the right thing with Los Angeles trash.

Things are changing.

If you have new signage on your barrels, you may know that the blue bin now takes metal coat hangers, styrofoam and plastic bags. These bins offer a resource for recycling businesses.


Private haulers in the future may benefit by providing recycle dumpsters to apartments and businesses because of the profit in this trash. But can the city get apartment owners to separate trash? There are some programs testing this downtown.

Our green bins should have materials that can be composted, but no hoses or wood with nails. Fruits and vegetables can go into these now.

Black bins hold the most problems, needing material to be processed. Construction waste is separated.

People from the department traveled all over the world to see what other countries have done with their trash. There are many options to consider now.

If the department starts collecting materials from multifamily residences and businesses, costs will have to rise–more landfills are needed (one in the desert will be used).

Education to reduce waste is imperative.
As the department heads gave attendees facts and figures, our questions and ideas were recorded. I said if the Department of Water and Power gives free CF bulbs to home owners, maybe Sanitation could give some free string bags that are used in Europe and other countries. These should be used in the produce section of markets!

Given the deaths being caused to ocean life by the huge island of mostly plastic trash in the Pacific ocean, giving up plastic bags is an essential though inconvenient change to make. –Bette Simons


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This Blog is a wonderful new communication option. Congratulations.
Many thanks to Joyce Linden for facilitating the Monday Film Club. It is so interesting to listen to all of the differing reactions to the same film. My take: Sage members are a discerning group with very sharp minds of their own.

Thank you for this report. I found it very interesting. I think it would be interesting to have someone speak at one of our forums on recycling – what is economically feasible, what isn’t; where the most benefit is; how our recycylables are processed and used, etc.

I agree with Wilma! I think a speaker on this topic is a great idea!
I do have a question. I called the LA phone number for info on recycling, but at the time I called, they couldn’t tell me if cellophane can be recycled. So many packages are overwrapped in cellophane and I want to be able to “blue bin” it.

Put the cellophane in the blue container!
The material goes down a moving belt where workers sort out what can be reused, the rest goes to the landfills.

At the next meeting of the ZERO Waste Plan,* I will say that people who really want to help with recycling need more information:
1. Should we tie up the newspapers and advertising paper?
2. Should we leave the lids on jars?
3. Would putting all small jar lids in a plastic bag help the sorting process? Many citizens do care about helping out.*

I’ve been thinking about your comments here on recycling and wondering if we at SAGE should be doing more. If we had a brown paper shopping bag, for example, at each SAGE class for recyclables, do you think someone would volunteer from each class to take the bag home to our own blue bins?
I would do it. My concern is using water to rinse the styrofoam cups, etc. Any ideas on this?

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