The City of Santa Clarita is one of 80 Los Angeles area cities that regularly works with the California Integrated Waste Management Board to communicate its achievements in waste diversion. After calculating totals for 2004, Santa Clarita believes it achieved a 46% diversion rate for 2004. In 2003, the City diverted 40% of its waste from landfills.
All California cities and counties are now required to divert 50% of their waste from landfills as part of AB 939, which took effect in 1989. The Assembly Bill requires cities and counties to utilize a myriad of recycling, reduction and reuse measures to increase the amount of waste going to landfills. Santa Clarita received an extension for reaching the 50% diversion rate until the end of reporting year 2005. The California Integrated Waste Management Board recently posted draft numbers for 2004 diversion rates for cities and counties. In 2004, the current reporting year, Santa Clarita produced about 350,000 tons of waste. Of that amount, approximately, 160,000 tons was diverted from landfills. In the California Integrated Waste Management Board preliminary report, a 29,000 Ton waste entry at the Kettleman Hills Landfill was recorded and credited to Santa Clarita, which was actually waste derived from another jurisdiction and the State used the wrong inflation deflator for its diversion calculation. These errors in reporting caused the on-line California Integrated Waste Management Board report to reflect a 34% diversion rate for Santa Clarita in 2004. Once that entry at Kettleman Landfill is deleted and the correct deflator is used, Santa Clarita’s preliminary diversion rate for 2004 is expected to be at a 46% diversion rate for 2004. The City has implemented a wide variety of diversion programs over the last six years. For recycling, the City has a residential curbside program, residential drop-off, residential buy-back, commercial on-site pick up, and government recycling programs and special seasonal collections. City diversion programs include xeriscaping/grasscycling, backyard and onsite composting/mulching, business, and government source and waste reduction programs, and a material exchange program. Special waste materials programs in Santa Clarita include: concrete/asphalt/rubble, wood waste and white good, plus tire recycling. In 2005, Santa Clarita implemented a series of programs and policies aimed at further reducing the amount of waste going to landfills, including a construction and demolition ordinance, a recycled content procurement policy, a roll-off bin franchise program, a manure recycling program, an online waste exchange program (www.scvswap.com) and the “We Recycle” community-wide rewards program produced in partnership with KHTS-AM 1220.
These programs will not be used in calculating Santa Clarita’s diversion amounts until 2005 is calculated in approximately one year.