Resource Conservation Sustainable City Progress Report Resource Conservation

Solid Waste

RC1_Chart1_Small   RC1_Chart2_Small  
 Volume of Solid Waste Generated:
Diversion vs. Landfill 2000-2006
 Per Capita Residential Waste Disposal vs. SCPR Target
Pounds per Capita per Day 2006-2010

INDICATOR

Citywide Solid Waste Generation, Diversion & Disposal    

DESCRIPTION

One of the city’s goals for solid waste is first to reduce its waste generation and then to increase the percentage of that waste which is diverted from landfills. Any increase in diversion percentage results from recycling, composting, reuse, or waste-to-energy transformation (incineration). Accordingly, the city looks at solid waste in terms of the total amount generated, the amount landfilled, and the amount diverted from landfills. The target for generation is to stay at or below the year 2000 baseline through 2010. The target for diversion is to increase the amount diverted to 70% of total generated by 2010.

For data through 2006, the city reports total derived generation and diversion from actual volume disposed (landfilled) for the city AS A WHOLE. Starting from 2007 onward, the city will be reporting the PER CAPITA disposal rate which uses only two factors: a jurisdiction's population and its disposal as reported by disposal facilities. This change reflects the city’s compliance with SB 1016 which builds on AB 939 requirement that every jurisdiction divert at least 50% of its waste. The SB 1016 approach represents a shift from calculating estimated generation and diversion to reporting annual actual disposal as a component part of evaluating jurisdictions' program implementation. SB 1016 also reports on the number and success of programs to reduce waste generation and disposal.

PERFORMANCE SUMMARY

Per Capita Disposal/Diversion  - Under the SB 1016 reporting, Santa Monica’s Sustainable City Plan target diversion rate is 70% computes to 6.6 lbs/resident/day of disposed trash exclusive of transformation and 5.3 lbs/resident/day after transformation.  In 2010, the daily rates were 3.6 lbs/resident/day.  The city is, by this measure, exceeding its SCPR diversion requirements by a large margin.  

City-wide Generation Volume -  Prior performance reported in total estimated generation and diversion is summarized as follows:  after a few years in which waste generation stabilized at levels below the 2000 baseline, between 2003 and 2006 generation volume grew, increasing over 63 thousand tons, a 20% increase. The 2006 derived generation amount is 384,000 tons, 51,000 tons higher than the 2000 333,000 ton target.

Citywide Diversion Percentage - Excluding 2005, the community had been steadily increasing its waste diversion percentage, ending up at 68%. The 2006 results put the community back on track to attain its target 70% diversion rate. 

ANALYSIS

The targets established by the SB 1016 per capita method of reporting essentially assign all responsibility for generation, diversion and disposal on residents. However, Santa Monica businesses and non-resident workers and tourists bear some responsibility in this equation. While per capita disposal was low in 2009, probably due to the economic downturn, as the economy has begun to turn around in 2010 the per capital disposal rate has not reached pre-2009 disposal levels. 

It is also important to note that per capita disposal excludes waste disposed of using waste-to-energy transformation. If not for transformation, the per capita disposal would have been approximately 5.7 lbs./person/day.  Further, it is important to note that transformation should at a minimum be of the “waste-to-energy” variety, not destructive transformation which increases greenhouse emissions. 

STATUS

Generation: Unknown   /    Diversion: Good

TREND

Mixed

WHAT CAN WE DO TO IMPROVE?

Continue to emphasize a reduction or elimination of solid waste, while not slacking off on recycling what we do generate.

DATA SOURCES

View source material in Excel: RC1_SolidWaste.xls
Email contact for data source inquires: andrew.basmajian@smgov.net 

Last updated: Friday, 09/14/2012
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Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626