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TARZANA : 1 Million Is Lucky Number on Trash Day


Jonathan Sidy was the millionth customer. It says so right on his garbage can.

An amused Sidy was greeted Thursday morning with a convoy of garbage trucks parked in front of his Tarzana home, all to deliver his new, black garbage can. It looks like any other garbage can, except, that is, for the gold leaf lettering with the words "L.A. Resource Program," a telephone number, and instructions on how to use the container.

A white sign also marked it as the millionth container used for automated curbside pickup by the Los Angeles City Bureau of Sanitation.

Sidy, the 29-year-old owner of a landscape services company, became one of 532,000 households now using the 60-gallon black container for non-recyclable household garbage. He'll use a 60-gallon green container for grass clippings and tree trimmings that will be made into compost and sold through local vendors.

Sidy's neighborhood was next on the city's list for garbage and recycling container delivery, and the council offices were looking for someone to be the lucky millionth customer. So they called Sidy, who serves on numerous local boards and has been appointed to commissions by City Councilwoman Laura Chick.

They told him some people would come by in the morning. But Sidy said he wasn't expecting four garbage trucks loaded with containers, or representatives from the mayor's office, Public Works Department and even the manufacturers of the rubbish cans.

"I certainly did not expect what happened today," he said. "We were joking that somebody made a mistake and they were delivering 1 million garbage cans to me. It really was fun."

Two weeks ago, Sidy began recycling aluminum and plastic in the city's 14-gallon yellow bins.

By limiting each household to only one container for non-recyclable waste, the bureau hopes that residents will start recycling more garbage.

Both the refuse collection and the recycling service are part of the L.A. Resource Program begun in 1989 in an effort to reduce the amount of waste in California landfills.

By 1995, when all cities and counties are required to have diverted 25% of their waste from landfills, the program will have reached 720,000 households, said Roland A. Silva of the L.A. Resource Program.

But Sidy's gold-embossed can won't be among those sitting on curbsides. The city is going to give him another container, sans gold leaf, for his garbage. And the fancy can?

"I am taking it into my house as an addition to my furnishings. As an end table," he said. "I'll put a lamp on it or something."

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