On our last day in Los Angeles we had the opportunity to visit the Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion (ELC). The center is located opposite of the beach front of LA in a highly secured complex. Our visit started off with an interesting introduction by Jennifer and James who gave us their perspective of the city department about Zero Waste. Further, James presented the Solid Waste Integrated Resources Plan (SWIRP) also known as the City’s Zero Waste Plan. The Plan focuses on strategies, policies and environmental infrastructure in order to reduce waste by 2030. Among others the guiding principles of the SWIRP include education on recycling and consumption from an early age, creation of incentives and construction of safer and modern technology.
Jennifer also pointed out that the United States are a convenience driven society and therefore up to 40% of food is wasted, which was shocking to hear.
The visit ended with a tour around the complex where we stopped at different stations and learned about their sanitation system. Last but not least it was interesting to compare the approaches of New York City and Los Angeles, two cities that could be not more different from each other.