50 years of Trash
If you’ve driven by Puente Hills anytime in the recent past and saw a 500 foot hill, you weren’t observing an unusual geological formation. The landfill at this location has served as the repository for much of LA’s trash for more than five years, according to a recent story reported on NPR. And, of course, there wasn’t much gold in that hill.
In fact, the entire landfill is now officially closed and will soon be yet another park for Angelenos to enjoy. While the entire process of managing trash and its disposition has advanced a great deal since the City of Industry’s Puente Hills site started operations, massive amounts of trash are still sent to LA landfills on a daily basis.
One of the important changes concerning this trash is that is no longer the easy source of “gold” for identity thieves that it once was. Thanks to recycling firms (like Sergeant Shredder), the actual volume of trash in greatly reduced. Additionally, the information on what does end up here is shredded and destroyed in an unrecoverable manner.
Not the Last of LA Landfills
Although much of the retrieved materials now ends up in container ships heading back to other countries for recycling, there is still a need for LA landfills. The shoebox you throw away today may come back as a package containing your new smartphone. According to the NPR article, authorities are now looking for the right location in remote areas of the desert near Los Angeles.
There is other bright news concerning existing LA landfills. Some, such as Puente Hills, generate sufficient methane gas to power the equivalent of tens of thousands of homes. Also, scientists continue to explore ways to convert trash into an affordable source of energy. If and when those scientists are successful at converting the contents of LA landfills to energy, there may be new treasure in the trash they contain.
How do you avoid adding to our LA landfills?