Tetra Tech is helping the County of Los Angeles, California, plan to meet waste disposal capacity needs and emerging waste diversion challenges that impact its more than 10 million residents.

Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States—larger in population than 43 states and 145 countries. It consists of 88 cities and various unincorporated communities. The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works selected Tetra Tech to help update a planning document—the Countywide Siting Element—which examines how the County will safely address the region’s waste disposal capacity needs over the next 15 years.

New regulatory mandates in California—including Assembly Bill (AB) 876, AB 1594, AB 1826, SB 1383—also are requiring cities and counties to divert more waste from landfills. Senate Bill (SB) 1383 requires a 50 percent reduction in statewide disposal of organic waste from 2014’s level by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025. Substantial regional planning is required to meet these new goals. Los Angeles County asked Tetra Tech to prepare various plans and technical reports to address these issues as part of the Siting Element update process.

Issues impacting solid waste in California are complex and dynamic. Tetra Tech’s in-house experts in diversion planning, waste conversion, renewable technologies, air modelling, disaster planning, public policy development, and behavior change are working with County staff to formulate strategies to address them.

Reports prepared for Los Angeles County:

  • Roadmap to Zero Waste: Analyzed strategies and initiatives to lessen reliance on landfills; identified programs, infrastructure, and public outreach needed to reach goals
  • Organic Waste Master Plan: Evaluated options to encourage development of local composting, anaerobic digestion, and chipping and grinding operations; evaluated possible policy development for haulers as wells as new ordinances, incentives, and educational programs
  • Greenhouse Gas Modelling: Coauthored a white paper comparing greenhouse gas emissions for an integrated material recovery facility with conversion technologies to traditional waste transport and landfilling
  • Disaster Debris Management Planning: Developed a mass debris management plan for disaster management in County operational areas, established a framework for debris management operations, defined resource roles and responsibilities, and assessed operational threats and vulnerabilities
  • Organic Waste End-Use Markets and Food Recovery and Rescue Overview: Assessed markets for products generated by organic waste recycling and diversion