Greig Smith is a man with a vision - a man who talks about "paradigm shifts", "zero waste", and "conversion technologies." More important, he is in a position to initiate concrete action - a mover and shaker in Los Angeles politics (one of 15 City Councilmembers). He represents an educated, important constituency in a L.A. bedroom community that is determined to see an end to its "Sunshine Canyon Landfill" and the attendent problems that go with it.
He and his staff have spent 2 years developing R.E.N.E.W. LA - a comprehensive plan to revamp waste disposal in Los Angeles County by extending recycling of black trash bin waste (garbage for which no current recycling programs exist). This plan should be required reading for any municipal managers looking for a "blueprint" for recycling waste while creating new products and sources of energy.
Without passage of California AB 1090, R.E.N.E.W. LA faces an uncertain future.
Below is an excerpt from a brief overview of the plan. The following documents can be accessed from his website:
• RENEW LA Synopsis
• RENEW LA Executive Summary
• RENEW LA FAQs
TOGETHER WE CAN R.E.N.E.W. LA (click for full text)
by Councilman Greig Smith
R.E.N.E.W. LA stands for: Recovering Energy, Natural Resources and Economic Benefit from Waste for Los Angeles. This monumental plan creates the roadmap for Los Angeles to become the country’s leading innovator in dealing with its trash.
R.E.N.E.W LA is a 400+ page document that contains a policy package including fourteen legislative motions to accelerate its goals of maximum resource recovery, an end to landfilling and the creation of clean, renewable energy. The plan has been
two years in the making.
R.E.N.E.W. LA is a twenty-year action plan, created with the input of environmental, business and community leaders. It raises the bar from compliance with current 50% AB 939-mandated landfill diversion levels, to a goal of “Zero Waste” that emphasizes sustainability and environmental protection while creating economic benefits, including job creation. The plan comes with its own oversight committee to enact, guide and adapt the plan, long after my term in office.
The plan expands recycling programs, particularly in the business and multi-family sectors. There are proposals to offer tax incentives to businesses that locate in Los Angeles and use City-collected trash as a feedstock for a manufacturing process. Businesses could also benefit financially if they significantly reduce or eliminate their waste. R.E.N.E.W. LA also proposes a revised City procurement policy in which highest and best use, reduced toxicity and conservation of resources will be prioritized.
Conversion technologies figure prominently in R.E.N.E.W. LA because they convert waste into clean, renewable energy. The City has set a 20% goal for renewable energy by the year 2017 and R.E.N.E.W. LA proposes partnerships between the Bureau of Sanitation, the DWP and private industry to help meet these goals. Conversion technologies can also be used to create valuable chemicals, alternative fuels, soil amendments and other feedstocks for manufacturing, reducing the need for virgin resources. Use of alternative fuels reduces green house gasses and harmful emissions while decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels and foreign oil sources.