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Solid Waste Disposal
Los Angeles County

Sanitation, Garbage, Solid Waste

Residential waste containers along a street in Los Angeles County. Photo by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, in 2022, county residents and businesses disposed of a grand total 30,873,024 tons of solid waste, averaging 98,952 tons per day. Approximately 65 percent of that, however, is reused, recycled or diverted from landfills. Only about 11 million tons of solid waste actually ended up in landfills or transformation facilities, inside or outside the county. About 41 percent of Los Angeles County solid waste, destined for landfills (about 4.3 million tons), went to landfills outside of the county. Most of L.A. County solid waste exported from the county ended up at landfills in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Kern Counties. A small fraction ended up in Imperial, Madera, Monterey, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, and Yolo Counties. Additionally, in 2022, Los Angeles County received 182,500 tons of solid waste imported from outside the county.
-- Source: L.A. County DPW Solid Waste Information Management System

Also see: Solid Waste Disposal by City and Year in Los Angeles County

Active Solid Waste Disposal Facilities
Landfills & Refuse Recovery
Los Angeles County, 2022

Landfill 2022 Disposal Quantity (Tons) Remaining Capacity (Tons)* Remaining Capacity (Years)* Location Operator
Antelope Valley Recycling & Disposal Facility 776,552 8,541,999 11 1200 W City Ranch Rd, Palmdale 93551 Waste Management, Inc.
Azusa Land Reclamation 377,231 51,715,125 23 1211 W Gladstone St, Azusa 91702 Azusa Land Reclamation, Inc.
Burbank Landfill #3 35,022 4,238,976 103 1600 Lockheed View Dr, Burbank 91504 City of Burbank DPW
Calabasas Landfill 330,53 4,134,026 11 5300 Lost Hills Road, Agoura 91301 LA County Sanitation District No. 2
Chiquita Canyon Landfill 1,948,040 49,349,195 25 29201 Henry Mayo Dr, Castaic 91384 Waste Connections, Inc.
Landfill 2022 Disposal Quantity (Tons) Remaining Capacity (Tons)* Remaining Capacity (Years)* Location Operator
Lancaster Landfill & Recycling Center 122,664 9,712,689 77 600 East Avenue F, Lancaster 93535 Waste Management, Inc.
Pebbly Beach 4,010 22,022 6 1 Dump Rd, Avalon 90704 Avalon Environmental Services
Mesquite Regional Landfill** (Located in Imperial County) --- 660,000,000 109 6502 E Hwy 78, Brawley 92227 LA County Sanitation District No. 2
San Clemente Landfill 205 34,921 10 San Clemente Island, 92674 U.S. Navy
Savage Canyon Landfill 90,256 3,794,613 33 13919 Penn St, Whittier, 90602 City of Whittier DPW
Landfill 2022 Disposal Quantity (Tons) Remaining Capacity (Tons)* Remaining Capacity (Years)* Location Operator
Scholl Canyon Landfill 424,724 2,530,063 6 7721 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles 90041 LA County Sanitation District No. 2
Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF) 364,860 --- --- 120 Henry Ford Ave, Long Beach 90802 City of Long Beach
Sunshine Canyon Landfill 2,395,973 51,681,972 15 14747 San Fernando Rd, Sylmar 91344 Republic Services, Inc.

* Based 2022 average daily disposal or maximum permitted capacity as of Dec. 31, 2022.
† Private, non-government operator.
‡ The Azusa Land Reclamation facility is an inert waste facility. Inert waste cannot disintegrate naturally, either biologically or chemically, such as glass, tires, contaminated soil, plaster, or many building construction materials. The Azusa facility is the only inert waste landfill in Los Angeles County with a full solid waste facility permit.
** Mesquite Regional Landfill, a 4,250-acre property in Imperial County, purchased by the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County in 2000, is being engineered to receive 20,000 tons of municipal solid waste per day by rail or truck from Southern California counties. Up to 1,000 tons per day of that is reserved for Imperial County.

Source: County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works

Sunshine Canyon Landfill takes in, by far, the most solid waste of any of the landfills in Los Angeles County. In 2022, it took in 2.4 million tons of solid waster (6,564 tons per day) or 37 percent of all solid waste delivered to Los Angeles County landfills.

The Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF) in Long Beach is jointly owned by L.A. Sanitation District No. 2 and the City of Long Beach. The SERRF is operated by a private contractor.

The largest gas-to-energy facility is located at the now-closed Puente Hills Landfill. The facility produces more than 40 megawatts of power each day, which would meet the energy requirements of approximately 100,000 homes. Edison International buys most of the facility’s energy output.

Closed Los Angeles County Landfills are Puente Hills, Mission Canyon, Palos Verdes and Spadra. Privately-owned Bradley West Landfill is also closed.

In 2013, Puente Hills Landfill, once the largest landfill in the United States, closed to accepting any new waste. The landfill rose 500 feet high and covered 700 acres. In 2005, it accepted four million tons of waste.

The Commerce Refuse-to-Energy Facility, once located in the City of Commerce, was closed by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts in 2018. The facility processed about 350 tons of waste per day, converting it into energy. The facility had faced opposition by local advocacy groups complaining of its environmental impact on the surrounding community. The facility was closed for being unable to generate sufficient revenue.

In 1947, there were more than 300,000 backyard trash incinerators throughout Los Angeles County - the primary means of waste disposal for many homes. These had come to be seen, however, as significant contributors to the increasing serious problem of air pollution in the region. Efforts to ban backyard incinerators, however, were met with fierce opposition by homeowners. Incinerator owners believed that oil refineries were the true polluters and little had been done to curtail these. Cities nevertheless began establishing residential trash collection operations and, by 1958, backyard incinerators were completely banned.

In 1961, Sam Yorty ran for mayor of Los Angeles with the promise to end the inconvenience of separating refuse. After his election, a Los Angeles city ordinance was passed that eliminated the requirement to sort recyclables.

During the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, in just 22 days, event participants, including athletes, trainers, coaches and spectators, produced 6.5 million pounds of trash - more than six pounds per person per day.