Victory for L.A.A.N.E. and a Step Toward a Greener Economy

Back in January 2011, I blogged about Overbrook grantee L.A.A.N.E., the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, and the widely-read report that organization released through its Don't Waste L.A. program. The report detailed a litany of problems with the trash hauling system in Los Angeles -- everything from dirty, gas-guzzling trucks to poor working conditions to overlapping, disorganized, carbon-heavy truck routes. Several months later, on its June docket, the Overbrook board considered and agreed to support Don't Waste L.A.

It seems Overbrook's support, along with the efforts of a large coalition of funders, green groups and individual activists, has come to fruition. Yesterday's Daily News reported that the L.A. City Council voted to give private trash haulers in the city a five-year warning: the current "free for all" for city trash haulers will be converted into a private franchise system in which hauling companies will compete for the city's business. Requirements for contracts will include clean vehicles, good, green jobs for employees (including better wages and safer working conditions), more comprehensive, enforceable recycling, and re-tooled collection routes that eliminate overlapping to save on unnecessary emissions. Franchise fees will go back to the sanitation department of the city.

This is a solid victory for LAANE and its coalition partners! And, since one Don't Waste L.A. objective is to implement a program that can be replicated in other large metropolitan areas, the L.A. City Council decision is good news for the entire country.