Inmates recycling and waste program. Inmates working sorting steel and recyclables into bins.

Earth Day 2020

Earth Day 2020 900 900 SIB Staff

On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, let us continue to do our part to help Mother Earth by keeping our lands, our oceans, rivers and lakes, and our air clean.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department does its part by recycling, composting food waste, and looking toward ways we can conserve natural resources. The Pitches Detention Center has been recycling cardboard for the last 20 years. Eight years ago, the Department established a recycling center on-site that increased the jail’s waste diversion rate to approximately 2 million pounds a year. This recycling center sorts plastic, paper, mattress foam, and various other materials, ensuring that most of this waste is reused, and does not end up in a landfill.

To expand the recycling program’s impact on waste throughout the Department, cardboard balers were installed at Twin Towers Correctional Facility and Men’s Central Jail Last year. These machines help the LASD divert 24 tons of cardboard, monthly, to recycling centers. A cardboard baler will soon be installed at Century Regional Detention Facility to ensure we continue to recycle what we can.

Most of the food waste and compostable material generated by the jail facilities also goes to good use. Food waste is currently being diverted from Twin Towers Correctional Facility and transported to Pitchess Detention Center for composting.  For about five years now, this composted material has given the LASD the ability to divert approximately 4 tons a week from the landfill to our inmate vocational gardening and farming programs.

As we look to the future, the LASD continues its innovative programs to reduce, reuse, and recycle.  Our Sustainability Team is looking at ways we can utilize solar technology to power our custody and patrol facilities.  There are plans to install water reclamation systems in our north county jail system, saving approximately 15 million gallons of water a year.

While you are at home during COVID-19, you, too, could help keep our planet clean. Develop a recycling plan and find ways to improve your waste diversion rate. You can find ways to conserve water, and if you have the room, learn how to compost.

If you want to learn how you can help, please visit any of the following county resources:

The LA County Department of Public Works
Water Conservation & Composting –

Los Angeles County
Ways You Can Help the Environment