New to the Blue in Los Angeles

06/15/2011 02:50 pm ET | Updated Aug 15, 2011

Way back in 1874, the city of Los Angeles established its first dump site for solid waste. Over 130 years later, we've come to learn that disposing of our waste properly is a collective responsibility -- one we take seriously here in Los Angeles.

That's why today I was excited to announce that Angelenos can now place food and liquid cartons into the city's blue recycling bins.

Starting now, you can recycle cartons such as milk, juice, cream and egg substitutes as well as juice boxes, soup, broth, soy milk, and wine cartons. We are now the largest city in the state with a carton recycling program, solidifying our position as the number one recycling city in the nation.

In Los Angeles, we recycle more of our waste than any big city in America. Proudly, 65% of the over 10.1 million tons of waste generated from businesses and residents each year is diverted away from landfills. We accomplished this because we provide over 1.1 million households with recycling bins and services -- that's four million Angelenos! But we've gone beyond homes. Today over 1,000 restaurants send scraps to the city for composting, 648 LAUSD schools participate in the blue bin recycling program, and the city collects half a million tons of garden debris every year to turn into mulch. In keeping with the green theme, over 60% of our sanitation fleet uses clean fuel -- we're on track for 100% by 2013.

I've set our sights as a city on SEVENTY percent diversion of all city waste by 2013 with an ultimate goal of becoming a zero waste city one day. But in order to reach our goals, we need everyone's help. If your apartment or house has yet to get the blue bin, it's as easy as dialing 3-1-1 to connect with citywide Recycling.

Los Angeles has broken from the pack and is the leader in recycling practices because we understand that what we generate, and how we dispose of our trash is a collective responsibility. Please join me in preserving our beautiful city by making recycling a way of life in Los Angeles.