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Solid Waste Disposal
Los Angeles County

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 2017, county residents and businesses disposed of an estimated total of 28.05 million tons of solid waste, averaging about 89,900 tons per day. However, approximately 65 percent of all that is reused, recycled or diverted from landfills. Only about 10.3 million tons of solid waste actually ended up in landfills within and outside the county. About 48 percent of Los Angeles County solid waste destined for landfills (about 4.9 million tons) was sent to landfills outside of the county (El Sobrante Landfill in Riverside County and Olinda Alpha Sanitary Landfill in Orange County currently received half of this). In addition, in 2017, Los Angeles County received 104,105 tons of solid waste from jurisdictions outside the county.
Source: Los Angeles County DPW Solid Waste Information Management System

Active Solid Waste Disposal Facilities (Including Landfills)
(As of 2017)

Landfill 2017 Disposal Quantity (Tons) Remaining Capacity (Tons)* Remaining Capacity (Years) Location Operator
Antelope Valley Recycling & Disposal Facility 495,832 12,358,289 22 1200 W City Ranch Rd, Palmdale 93551
Phone (661) 947-7197
Privately Operated:
Waste Management Inc.
Burbank Landfill 32,486 2,705,784 36 1600 Lockheed View Dr, Burbank 91504
Phone (818) 238-3888
City of Burbank
Calabasas Landfill 352,055 5,599,480 12 5300 Lost Hills Road, Agoura 91301
Phone (818) 889-1430
LA County Sanitation Districts
Chiquita Canyon Landfill 1,491,444 59,100,258 30 29201 Henry Mayo Dr, Castaic 91384
Phone (661) 257-3655
Privately Operated:
Waste Connections Inc.
Commerce Refuse-to-Energy Facility* 93,419 --- --- 5926 Sheila St, Commerce 90040
Phone (213) 721-2022
LA County Sanitation Districts & City of Commerce
Lancaster Landfill & Recycling Center 138,423 10,272,269 24 600 East Avenue F, Lancaster 93535
Phone (661) 947-7197
Privately Operated:
Waste Management Inc.
Landfill 2017 Disposal Quantity (Tons) Remaining Capacity (Tons)* Remaining Capacity (Years) Location Operator
Pebbly Beach 3,539 55,820 11 1 Dump Rd, Avalon 90704
(310) 510-0240
Privately Operated:
CR&R Inc.
San Clemente Landfill 395 34,981 15 San Clemente Island, 92674
(619) 545-5543
U.S. Navy
Savage Canyon Landfill 87,477 4,737,210 38 13919 Penn St, Whittier, 90602
Phone (562) 907-7750
City of Whittier
Scholl Canyon Landfill 391,384 4,687,842 12 7721 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles 90041
(818) 243-9779
City of Glendale
Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF) 396,875 --- --- 120 Henry Ford Ave, Long Beach 90802
Phone (562) 570-1196
LA County Sanitation Districts & City of Long Beach
Sunshine Canyon Landfill 2,018,390 68,036,429 20 14747 San Fernando Rd, Sylmar 91344
Phone (818) 833-6500
Privately Operated:
Republic Services

* Based 2017 average daily disposal.
** The Commerce Refuse-to-Energy Facility produces power seven days a week, 24 hours per day. An average of 100 trucks per day deliver loads Monday through Friday during normal working hours. The Facility burns an average of 360 tons of trash per day and generates a net ten megawatts of electricity for sale to the Southern California Edison Company. This is enough electricity for 20,000 Southern California homes.

Source: County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works

Sunshine Canyon Landfill takes in, by far, the most amount of waste of any of the landfills in Los Angeles County. In 2017, it took in 2 million tons of solid waster (5,430 tons per day) or 37 percent of all solid waste deposited in Los Angeles County landfills.

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, 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 and the Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF) in Long Beach are both owned by separate authorities and created by Joint Powers Agreements. Sanitation District No. 2 jointly oversees the Commerce facility with the City of Commerce and the SERRF with 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.

By 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.