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Los Angeles Water and Power Department Honored for Recycling

Los Angeles, CA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in Washington D.C. November 15 with the Local Government Partner of the Year Award for its outstanding participation in the WasteWise program.

For the year 2000, the LADWP generated 28,549 tons of unwanted materials with 20,244 tons diverted from landfills. During the year LADWP only disposed of 8,305 tons, which translates to a department recycling and reuse rate of over 70%.

"These accomplishments speak for themselves in terms of LADWP's commitment to preserving natural resources and protecting the environment," said LADWP General Manager David H. Wiggs. "LADWP is not only supporting innovative new methods of conserving and generating energy, but it is also still doing the good old fashioned legwork required of major recycling efforts."

In addition to traditional recyclable materials, the department conserved nearly 250 tons of yard trimmings through grass recycling, and e-mail usage conserved 1,000 pounds of high-grade paper.

A major thrust of the program includes waste prevention, which minimizes or eliminates the generation of waste before it is created. This reduces the amount of materials that must be recycled or thrown away. A "Re-Use Store" was established to collect excess office supplies. The Department also collects used eyeglasses, hearing aids, and greeting cards at 15 office branches.

"Recycling goes hand in hand with our comprehensive environmental Green LA programs because it not only saves money and resources, but it also helps the environment," said Angelina Galiteva, LADWP director of strategic planning.

Research by the EPA has shown that conserving materials through waste prevention and recycling saves energy and reduces pollution, including emissions of greenhouse gases. The award coincided with the national observance of America Recycles on November 15, a pep rally for recycling marked by media events and contests throughout the country.

WasteWise was launched by the EPA in 1994. It is the country's first national voluntary solid waste reduction program. Organizations joining WasteWise agree to develop recycling goals and track their results. LADWP reduced municipal waste through prevention, recycling and buying recycled products. Some of these materials include paper of various types, plastics, packaging foam, organic and construction materials.

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