The century-long history of reclaiming Los Angeles refuse is littered with failures that persistence has converted into extraordinary success
L.A builds its first garbage incinerator and provides limited pickup service, but many people still burn trash in their backyards or bury it.
City officials sign their first contract with a private compnay to get rid of food waste.
The city takes responsibility for trash disposal in residential areas with two weekly collections. Private firms pick up business refuse.
With smog alerts a major concern, backyard burning is banned. All trash goes to landfill.
Residents of Los Angeles separate their food waste, yard clippings, metals, and other noncombustible items for pickup and disposal.
Mayor Sam Yorty halts the separation program, saying it forces “housewives to perform coolie labor.”
One by one, landfills begin to fill up. Environmental concerns and development restrictions make it hard to establish new ones.
A pilot program for full recycling begins on the Westside. It serves some 15,000 households.
Recycling expands into the Valley, then into all city council districts two years later, ultimately reaching about 95,000
L.A. exceeds a state mandate to divert 25 percent of its waste from landfills.
Angelenos outgrow their 14-gallon yellow and green recycling bins; the city replaces them with blue ones holding 90 gallons.
Want a whiff? A group offers bus tours of L.A.’s Puente Hills Landfill, one of the nation’s largest.
Los Angeles is named the top recycler among the ten largest U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas
L.A. sets this target year to recycle 70 percent ofits trash.
Grahics by Haisam Hussein
Also watch The Secret Life of Trash