High Trash Areas Map

Nearly 600 bags per second are discarded in California and destined either for a landfill or our marine life. It is up to each of us to take individual responsibility and to come together as a community to do something about this ever-growing problem. Although AB 2249 has passed into law, it is our turn to take the necessary steps and spring into action.

Today, thanks to individuals, organizations, industry and local government working together, opportunities to recycle plastic bags are increasingly available and convenient.

Within the City of Los Angeles, here ‘s how you can make a difference!

Recycle Where You Live - Curbside Collection Programs

The Bureau of Sanitation currently issues blue bins and recycling services to all residents in single family homes and buildings of 4-residential units or less within the City of Los Angeles. Along with glass, paper, metal, aluminum and other materials, plastic bags can be recycled in these blue recycle bins. To help eliminate fly-away bags, place all your clean, dry plastic bags into one plastic bag, tie it off and then put it in the blue recycle bin. Click here for the information page on materials or to find out what is recyclable.

Solid Resources Citywide Recycling Division (SRCRD) of the Bureau of Sanitation has just kicked off its voluntary recycling services for multifamily residential buildings (five units or more). Multifamily residential properties participating in the program will receive free recycling service once a week, blue bins for storage of recyclables, and educational information for residents about materials accepted in the blue bins.

Recycle Where You Shop – At-Store Collection Programs

In 2006, the State of California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 2449 which requires that certain retail establishments (larger grocery stores and pharmacies) set up at-store recycling programs for plastic carryout bags. Beginning July 1, 2007, mandated retailers will provide bins for collecting and recycling plastic carryout bags, display educational materials to inform consumers about the program, and offer reusable bags for purchase.

Together the Progressive Bag Alliance, California Retailers Association and California Grocers Association have launched a “Bring It Back” public education to help support the statewide recycling program.

To encourage participation among smaller grocers and retailers, The City of Los Angeles has partnered with the Progressive Bag Alliance, Unified Western Grocers, Bureau of Sanitation and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to implement a pilot voluntary at-store plastic bag recycling program, providing retailers in hot spots along the Los Angeles River with collection bins, signage and material pick-up.

Recycle Where You Learn – School Program

The City of Los Angeles is working with the Los Angeles Unified School District to expand the reach of waste haulers to include schools in the curbside recycling program. The City provides a free opportunity for all LAUSD elementary schools within city limits to recycle blue bin materials, including plastic bags. Free recycling presentations to both public and private elementary schools are available. For more information on the joint school/City program, call (213) 485-3903.

Take Action in your Community - Recycle Plastic Bags Project

The involvement of community groups, teachers and students is essential to the success of this project. All it takes is some dedication and the drive to improve our shared environment, not just for the present but most importantly for our future. Please join us in the effort to clean our city, our streets, beaches, and rivers. We can all make a difference!

Enlist through the City's Keep Los Angeles Beautiful! to find out about volunteer clean up efforts or join one of our many partners in their efforts to improve our local environment.

Here are a few steps to get started on the Recycle Plastic Bags In Your Community Project:

Survey your neighborhood (1/4 mile radius) and check the City's trash map to see if your neighborhood is within the targeted area
Obtain a list of all the grocery stores in that area (i.e., from the Phonebook, Internet or Chamber of Commerce)
Print out the Sample Letter requesting that the store participate by signing up with the City program
Take the letter to the grocery store and try to speak with a store/ retail manager. If the person is unavailable, then make sure to leave your contact information. Go as a group and tell them that you are interested in cleaning up your neighborhood and would like them to join the City's program.
Provide the store with the City’s promotional materials or create your own design using the same color format and messages.

If they agree, the Bureau of Sanitation can help set up a collection service, email or call (213) 485-2997.