Projects - Waste Reduction
NATIONAL LEADER IN SOLID WASTE DIVERSION
In 1989, California mandated that all cities and counties must divert at least 50% of their waste stream into recycling or reuse by year 2000. In the first year on record, 1995, Long Beach had a 12% diversion rate. After implementing its waste management programs Long Beach easily exceeded the state goal, diverting 69% of its waste in 2006. Among large cities, that diversion rate is the second highest in the nation. This is achieved through various programs like residential curbside recycling, household hazardous waste roundups, consistent public outreach, elementary school recycling education, and even classes for at-home composting.
SOUTHEAST RESOURCE RECOVERY FACILITY
In 1988, the City of Long Beach opened SERRF in conjunction with the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles. SERRF converts municipal trash into energy, and generates enough electricity to power 35,000 homes annually. Another benefit of this conversion process is the reduction of solid waste volume by an astounding 80% with the resulting ash being used as road base at the Puente Hills Landfill.
CONSTRUCTION & DEMOLITION RECYCLING PROGRAM
In 2007, the City implemented a Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling Program. This program is helping to reduce solid waste going to landfills by requiring the largest development projects across the city to ensure that at least 60% of the waste materials generated during a building demolition or major construction activity reused or recycled.
The Litter-free Long Beach Campaign is designed to expand awareness of the impacts of litter—how it detracts from the safety of our neighborhoods and negatively impacts property values, the economic vibrancy of business corridors and the health of our environment. Campaign strategies focus on engaging residents and neighborhood associations, partnering with LBUSD schools to reach students, parents and teachers, sponsoring neighborhood litter clean-up events, providing access to programs that allow local businesses to get involved and conducting outreach throughout the City to encourage support and sustain participation.
RECYCLING MARKET DEVELOPMENT ZONE (RMDZ)
In 1992, Long Beach created the first of 40 RMDZs across the state. RMDZs were created to assist sustainable companies that use recyclables as feedstock in manufacturing. The Long Beach RMDZ is combined with the City's Enterprise Zone and the economic benefits that both programs offer can greatly assist in corporate development and expansion. To date, 8 companies have taken advantage of the technical and fiscal benefits offered, including a company that retreads used tires, one that processes used oil filters into recyclable components, one that manufactures wood pallets from scrap wood, a company that grinds scrap asphalt and concrete into road base, and another corporation that manufactures consumer items from recycled plastic pellets.