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L.A. Trash Plan: What It Means and How It Works : The Rules: Households will get two 60-gallon barrels and a 14-gallon recycling bin. Pickups will be made weekly.

March 03, 1991|JOHN RIVERA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Under the new system, each household will receive two 60-gallon containers--one black and one green. Eventually, green will be for yard trimmings only and black for household waste. But for the time being, no distinction will be made.

The city containers are to be used instead of barrels owned by residents, although residents in the East Valley who have received the city containers can also use their own cans until the recycling program begins in their area.

The city will pick up trash once a week using trucks equipped with a hydraulic arm that grasps, hoists and empties the container. Broken barrels will either be repaired or replaced free by the city.

On trash collection day, residents will be expected to place their containers in the street against the curb, at least three feet from any parked car, with the arrow on the lid facing toward the street or alley. There should also be one foot of space between the containers to provide room for maneuvering the hydraulic arm.

Officials estimate residents can reduce their volume of garbage as much as 30% by participating in the city's recycling program, which also is being phased in throughout the city.

Each household will receive a 14-gallon bin in which they can place glass, metal, plastic beverage containers and newspapers.

Households that need more recycling bins will receive them at no additional cost. Recyclables will be collected by a separate truck on the same day as trash collection.

Although recycling will not be enforced immediately, it eventually will become mandatory in order to ensure that Los Angeles complies with a state mandate to reduce landfill deposits 25% by 1995 and 50% by 2000.

Sanitation Bureau Recycling Manager Drew Sones said the bureau is working with the city attorney in drafting an ordinance that would make it a misdemeanor not to recycle. The first draft of the ordinance should be presented to the City Council within the next month or two, he said.

The city will start by educating and warning violators, but will ultimately levy fines, Sones said. "The punitive part would only come in if you have a really recalcitrant person, who says, 'I'm not going to recycle no matter what,' " he said. "Most of the time I think we'll have cooperation."

The Bureau of Sanitation will enforce the ordinance by making random checks of garbage collected from various routes. If they see a large number of recyclables in the garbage from a particular route, they will go to that neighborhood to make random checks of containers.

The city program for disposal of yard trimmings is to be in place within five years. Once it begins, household trash is to be placed in black containers and yard waste in green. The trimmings will be collected by a separate truck and taken to a central composting facility. Ultimately, the city will sell some of the compost and use some in municipal parks and gardens.

A transitional yard trimming program in the East Valley is being phased in along with the automated collection. Residents can schedule free regular extra pickup of yard waste that will not fit into their two 60-gallon containers by calling the local district headquarters.

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