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Organics Management Strategies in Los Angeles
Wed 19 Aug, 2020 13:30–15:00, Room 3add to calendar
PRESENTATION TOPIC
ORGANICS
Session Description

This session will provide an overview of current and proposed organics recycling and landfill diversion efforts in the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles to prepare for SB 1383.  Los Angeles County as a whole comprises 25 percent of the State’s population and associated organic material going to landfills. The session will also provide insight into the City of Los Angeles' 18,000 single-family residential households food waste prevention and food scraps recycling pilot program, Curb Your Food Waste LA, which started in May 2019.

Speakers
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Clark Ajwani, Los Angeles County Public Works
Title:
Civil Engineer
Speaker Biography:

Clark Ajwani, a licensed Professional Civil Engineer in California, has provided strategic planning and project management of environmental sustainability projects since 2008 with the County of Los Angeles.  Clark was a leader in developing the County’s Zero Waste Roadmap and now oversees various programs and policy efforts to achieve zero waste. Clark earned a B.S. from the University of Colorado-Boulder and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California and continues to develop innovative solutions for environmental issues in California.

Abstract Title:
Integrated Solutions for Organic Waste Recycling
Speaker Abstract:

To achieve the requirements of the Senate Bill 1383 (2016) regulations, Los Angeles County is hard at work developing solutions for organic waste recycling. This includes planning for mandatory organic waste collection services for over 1 million residents and 20,000 businesses and multi-family buildings. It also includes developing an infrastructure plan for the entire County and its 88 cities, which house over a quarter of the state’s population and are estimated to have a combined organic waste recycling capacity shortfall of over 3.5 million tons per year.


 


An SB 1383 compliance strategy for a large and complex jurisdiction such as Los Angeles County requires an integrated solution to maximize the recovery of organic waste. This strategy incorporates anaerobic digestion to create energy and fuels in addition to composting to process digestate. The County is also working to address issues surrounding compostable food-service ware, including working with researchers at UCLA to complete a study on alternatives to single-use plastics. In addition, the County is conducting an analysis to determine the best pathways to achieve the SB 1383 local jurisdiction procurement target for recovered organic waste products, including the use of renewable natural gas transportation fuel for waste hauling vehicles to create a sustainable closed-loop organic waste recycling system in the County.


 

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Rowena Romano, LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN)
Title:
Sr. Environmental Engineer
Speaker Biography:

Rowena Romano joined the City of Los Angeles LA Sanitation & Environment in 2008, where she is currently a Senior Environmental Engineer. Rowena manages and leads a team of professional environmental engineers, and works to continuously develop and improve the City's solid resources programs, including those for organics, recyclables, and refuse, to meet the City's zero waste goals. Rowena obtained her B.S. and M.S. from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. At UCD she studied and researched the anaerobic digestion of various types of food waste from industrial and commercial sectors.


 


 

Abstract Title:
Curb Your Food Waste LA: Single-Family Residential Food Scraps Recyling
Speaker Abstract:

A new single-family residential food waste prevention and food scraps recycling pilot was implemented to approximately 18,000 single-family households, located across all 15 City Council Districts, and within 25 collection routes. The intent of the pilot is to:
1. Promote food waste prevention
2. Encourage residents to recycle remaining food scraps in their existing Green Bin
3. Encourage continued use of home composting and promote access to the City’s free composting workshops and related resources
Currently the City has a Green Bin program that collects yard trimmings on a weekly basis from single family households and multifamily households up to four units. The Curb Your Food Waste LA (CYFWLA) program provided residents with kitchen pails, a how-to brochure and videos to encourage residents to Shop Smart, Waste Less and Recycle the Rest. The City also conducts monthly home composting and urban gardening workshops at three sites within the City. Residents can also purchase home composting bins at these workshops. LASAN has conducted previous pilots to test for food scrap separation in the household; first through a food scraps collection pilot in 2009, and in 2017-2018 through an in-sink disposal pilot to divert food scraps from the landfill. The CYFWLA pilot program was conducted from August, 2018 and will be completed in October, 2020. It included door-to-door outreach and surveys, community events, bin evaluations and waste characterizations to measure participation. Take-aways and lessons learned from the pilot will be incorporated into a full-scale program.

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Christine Arbogast, Tetra Tech Inc.
Title:
President, Solid Waste West
Speaker Biography:

Christine Arbogast, PE, is the President of Tetra Tech’s Solid Waste Western US operations and has been in the solid waste industry for over 30 years. She has supported municipalities and the private sector in planning, permitting, design and implementation of solid waste management programs and facilities including development of system-wide strategic plans, organics management plans and facility master plans. She is currently managing a large residential curb-side organics recycling pilot program for the City of Los Angeles, Countywide organics and siting element planning for LA County and permitting and design of compost facilities for OC Waste & Recycling.


 


 


 

Abstract Title:
Curb Your Food Waste LA: Outreach/Education & Data Collection Tools
Speaker Abstract:

A new single-family residential food waste prevention and food scraps recycling pilot was implemented for approximately 18,000 single-family households in each of 15 Council Districts in the City of Los Angeles covering 25 collection routes. The two-year pilot program included door-to-door kitchen pail distribution and outreach, surveys, community events, bin evaluations and waste characterizations to measure participation. Tetra Tech was hired to assist the City in implementing the pilot program which included development of a Communications and Outreach Plan, development and distribution of compelling, engaging and informative collateral materials (logo, Introductory letter, “How-To” brochures, flyers, maps, banners, contamination tags, cart tags, door hangers, newsletters, and multi-lingual videos), distribution of kitchen pails and conducting door-to-door surveys with the assistance of non-profit organizations including Pacoima Beautiful and LA Conservation Corps.


Data collection utilized tablets with an electronic data collection application which allowed for real-time progress tracking and establishment of a user-friendly dashboard. To evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program, data on participation and diversion rates was collected and surveys conducted over four quarters with accompanying newsletters communicating progress. Data collection from curbside set-outs helped ground-truth self-reported data. Objectives of the data collection were to estimate participation rate, identify common contaminants found in green-bins, and characterize the composition of green-bin and black-bin materials to estimate average quantities of materials generated per household, diversion rates, and proportion of materials that were correctly or incorrectly sorted by residents. Take-aways and lessons learned from the pilot will be incorporated into a full-scale program.

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Tamara Shulman, Tetra Tech
Speaker Biography:

Tamara Shulman is an environmental planner with 25 years of experience in waste reduction and diversion program planning, research, and policy development with a focus on organics management. She led community education programs at StopWaste.Org in Alameda County, managed food scraps collection program launches for several western Canadian jurisdictions and businesses, and served as project manager for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s Foundational Report on the Characterization and Management of Food Loss and Waste In North America. She developed and led the education and outreach program for the City of Los Angeles’ Curb Your Food Waste LA pilot program.

Abstract Title:
Curb Your Food Waste LA: Outreach/Education & Data Collection Tools
Speaker Abstract:

A new single-family residential food waste prevention and food scraps recycling pilot was implemented for approximately 18,000 single-family households in each of 15 Council Districts in the City of Los Angeles covering 25 collection routes. The two-year pilot program included door-to-door kitchen pail distribution and outreach, surveys, community events, bin evaluations and waste characterizations to measure participation. Tetra Tech was hired to assist the City in implementing the pilot program which included development of a Communications and Outreach Plan, development and distribution of compelling, engaging and informative collateral materials (logo, Introductory letter, “How-To” brochures, flyers, maps, banners, contamination tags, cart tags, door hangers, newsletters, and multi-lingual videos), distribution of kitchen pails and conducting door-to-door surveys with the assistance of non-profit organizations including Pacoima Beautiful and LA Conservation Corps.


Data collection utilized tablets with an electronic data collection application which allowed for real-time progress tracking and establishment of a user-friendly dashboard. To evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program, data on participation and diversion rates was collected and surveys conducted over four quarters with accompanying newsletters communicating progress. Data collection from curbside set-outs helped ground-truth self-reported data. Objectives of the data collection were to estimate participation rate, identify common contaminants found in green-bins, and characterize the composition of green-bin and black-bin materials to estimate average quantities of materials generated per household, diversion rates, and proportion of materials that were correctly or incorrectly sorted by residents. Take-aways and lessons learned from the pilot will be incorporated into a full-scale program.

[photo]
Cesar Leon, Tetra Tech
Speaker Biography:

Cesar Leon is a Senior Planner with 21 years of experience in environmental and waste management projects. He has contributed to the preparation of multiple solid waste strategic plans and organic waste management plans. Cesar provides regulatory compliance/planning services such as permitting, land use entitlements, siting, operations review and environmental analysis for solid waste facilities.  He has led an extensive field program for the City of LA’s 18,000 resident curbside organics collection pilot program and the County of LA’s generator-based residential waste characterization study.  He is also the assistant program manager for CalRecycle’s Generator Based Edible Food Waste Characterization study.

Abstract Title:
Curb Your Food Waste LA: Outreach/Education & Data Collection Tools
Speaker Abstract:

A new single-family residential food waste prevention and food scraps recycling pilot was implemented for approximately 18,000 single-family households in each of 15 Council Districts in the City of Los Angeles covering 25 collection routes. The two-year pilot program included door-to-door kitchen pail distribution and outreach, surveys, community events, bin evaluations and waste characterizations to measure participation. Tetra Tech was hired to assist the City in implementing the pilot program which included development of a Communications and Outreach Plan, development and distribution of compelling, engaging and informative collateral materials (logo, Introductory letter, “How-To” brochures, flyers, maps, banners, contamination tags, cart tags, door hangers, newsletters, and multi-lingual videos), distribution of kitchen pails and conducting door-to-door surveys with the assistance of non-profit organizations including Pacoima Beautiful and LA Conservation Corps.


Data collection utilized tablets with an electronic data collection application which allowed for real-time progress tracking and establishment of a user-friendly dashboard. To evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program, data on participation and diversion rates was collected and surveys conducted over four quarters with accompanying newsletters communicating progress. Data collection from curbside set-outs helped ground-truth self-reported data. Objectives of the data collection were to estimate participation rate, identify common contaminants found in green-bins, and characterize the composition of green-bin and black-bin materials to estimate average quantities of materials generated per household, diversion rates, and proportion of materials that were correctly or incorrectly sorted by residents. Take-aways and lessons learned from the pilot will be incorporated into a full-scale program.