Organics recycling program begins at Los Angeles airport

LA Sanitation and Los Angeles World Airports pilot program will collect food waste from select locations at airport.

LA Sanitation and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) have announced the start of an Organics Waste Recycling Pilot Program at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). 

As part of ongoing efforts for the city of Los Angeles to achieve its goal of zero waste and reducing the use of landfills, the pilot program calls for the collection of food waste from a sit-down restaurant, a fast-food restaurant and a coffee house in Terminal 8, and an airline lounge in Terminal 7. The program’s effectiveness will be analyzed to determine the needs for all of the 108 food service establishments within LAX’s nine terminals. 

Airport staff will collect the food waste from the pilot program locations. LA Sanitation will collect the food waste and transport it to a facility, where it will be recycled and converted into renewable natural gas and used as fuel.  Residual solids and liquids from the process will be made into beneficially reusable products such as soil amendments.   

“This partnership with LAWA underscores LA Sanitation’s commitment to environmental sustainability,” says LA Sanitation Director and General Manager Enrique C. Zaldivar. “We continually work to increase the recycling of solid waste and its reuse in a beneficial way; organics processing is the new frontier in solid waste management.” 

California Assembly Bill 1826 (AB 1826) requires businesses that generate 8 cubic yards of organics waste per week to have an organics recycling service in place. To ensure compliance with AB 1826, the city of Los Angeles adopted the Sustainable City pLAn (Mayoral Directive No. 7) and the Los Angeles City Zero Waste Franchise System (Council Motion 14-1432).

As the lead agency for the city’s environmental programs and initiatives, LA Sanitation says it works to protect public health and the environment through the administration and management of three program areas: Clean Water (wastewater), Solid Resources (solid waste management) and Watershed Protection (stormwater). These infrastructure programs collect, treat, recycle and dispose the solid and liquid waste generated by the nation’s second largest city of more than 4 million residents.