less_garbageCalifornians, for the seventh year in a row, are throwing away less and less garbage in landfills.

New statistics from the state Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, also known as CalRecycle, shows that 29.3 million tons of trash were disposed statewide last year. That’s 4.3 pounds per day per person and a slight reduction from the 4.4 pounds per day per person in 2011 when 29.9 million tons were disposed. The population also increased from 37.4 million in 2011 to 37.7 million last year.

“Each incremental step in waste diversion puts the state closer to our goal of 75% recycling,” said CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen in a statement. “The public is doing its part by being conscious of what we throw out and thinking about recycling and reuse. We at CalRecycle will continue to do our part by supporting recycling businesses and other waste diversion infrastructure that create green jobs and help achieve our goal.”

Last year’s disposal decrease continues a downward trend started in 2005 when 42.5 million tons of waste were discarded, the state said.

The vast majority of waste, 99%, went to California landfills and about 1% was exported to out-of-state landfills, CalRecycle said.

The state will monitor Sunshine Canyon until a local body is set up.

Adding another wrinkle to a decades-old controversy over a giant dump in the north San Fernando Valley, the state has approved a request by the operator of Sunshine Canyon Landfill to step in and oversee enforcement of waste laws at the facility until a city-county joint agency is approved.

Sunshine Canyon is actually two landfills roughly a quarter of a mile apart, which puts them in different jurisdictions: one in the city of Los Angeles, the other in unincorporated county territory.

For The Record
Sunshine Canyon: An article in the June 30 California section about the Sunshine Canyon Landfill said the dump sits atop an underground reservoir that holds water for 19 million people. The San Fernando Groundwater Basin is one mile south of the dump, and only non-potable water lies under the dump. Also, the article stated that Greg Loughnane, a spokesman for Browning-Ferris Industries, said company officials wanted to combine the two dumps at the site into one because a single dump would be less expensive to operate. In fact, Loughnane said the sole reason for seeking to merge the two was concern they would run out of room for garbage.