The Bureau of Street Services is proud to report continued and increased success in the area of recycling. The following is a list of the notable accomplishments.
Cold In Place Recycling (CIR)
The Bureau implemented the CIR technology in July 2005. This all-in-one street reconstruction process allows the existing asphalt roadway to be ground up, pulverized, mixed with emulsion, and paved back in place. The benefits include a reduced number of trucks needed to reconstruct an asphalt street, reduced air emissions, a reduced dependency on virgin materials, and elimination of material taken to landfill. The cost savings have already resulted in an additional 25 miles of city streets being resurfaced.
Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement
The Bureau is an industry leader in the recycling of asphalt pavement. Over the past ten years, BSS has recycled more than 1,600,000 tons of material at a cost savings of more than $16,000,000 as part of the annual resurfacing program. The Bureau's two municipal asphalt plants are currently capable of producing mixes of up to 25% recycled materials. In addition, the Bureau's contracted vendor produces a 50% recycle mix for City use.
In 1998, BSS implemented a rubberized slurry seal program. Since this program's inception, 500,000 waste tires have been recycled. BSS is working with the vendor and the General Services Department - Standards Division to pilot and test a new rubberized slurry seal mixture, which contains reclaimed asphalt materials.
BSS recycles 100% of concrete excavated and removed from its sidewalk reconstruction programs. Currently the material is delivered to a vendor that processes the material, which the Bureau then uses as base material in street and sidewalk reconstruction projects. As part of the 2007-08 budget, the Bureau was authorized to purchase a crusher to process and recycle the material at a significant cost savings.
Form lumber is re-used as often as possible which minimizes the amount of new lumber to be purchased, thereby saving trees. In addition, reusable hard plastic or aluminum slip forms are utilized when feasible.
Contracts - Recycled Plastic & Rubber
The reuse of recyclable post consumer plastic materials is being accomplished by specifying in contract specifications that such plastic be incorporated into Bureau operations, traffic barricades, tree well grates, signs and trash receptacles. One accomplishment of note is the increase in the percentage of post-consumer recycled plastic used in the Bureau's plastic barricades and signs. The new specification calls for 100 percent recycled content.
The City of Los Angeles is proud of its recycling efforts in all waste streams. The Urban Forestry Division is particularly proud of the greenwaste recycling center. The recycling center is operated jointly by UFD and the Bureau of Sanitation.
UFD annually generates thousands of tons of greenwaste in its maintenance operations. One hundred percent of the material produced by Division personnel is recycled. In addition, hundreds of tons of greenwaste generated by contractors performing street tree maintenance is recycled as well.
The City's greenwaste recycling operation is one of the largest in the world. The operation produces several types and sizes of wood materials that are utilized for different purposes.
Off Grade Gutter / Cross Gutter Repair / Replacement
Over the past two years, the Bureau has been funded to repair off-grade gutters and to construct new cross gutters with the goal of eliminating standing water problems, which may be potential sources for breeding mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus.
Catch Basin Repair
BSS is working closely with the Bureau of Sanitation to help them meet federal mandated deadlines for inserting catch basin screens, which keep trash and debris from entering the storm drain system. The Bureau of Sanitation is finding that 5-10% of catch basins are damaged beyond the point where retrofits are possible. BSS is repairing these catch basins as quickly as possible, in conjunction with Sanitation's implementation schedule.
The Bureau's fleet of motor sweepers are all currently PM 10 certified (particulate matter of size 10 microns and less - a critical air pollutant measurement). The Bureau is working very had with the General Services Department to convert the entire fleet from diesel fuel to alternative fuel (compressed natural gas) by the year 2010.
The Bureau provides 3,000 trash receptacles within the public right-of-way in a proactive effort to reduce litter. Furthermore, BSS is in the process of replacing the existing wire baskets with larger, tamper-resistant "totter" receptacles. The Bureau also administers an Adopt-a-Basket program which provides trash receptacles to organizations that agree to maintain the receptacles and dispose of the waste in a safe and legal manner.
Weed Abatement and Illegal Dumping Cleanup and Enforcement
One of BSS' major goals is to improve and protect public health and safety as related to the existence of noxious vegetation, trash, debris and public nuisances on both privately and publicly owned parcels. The Bureau eliminates visual blight and enhances environmental safety by clearing, cleaning and removing illegally dumped material, weeds, dirt and waste from areas of the public right-of-way.
The Bureau plays a major role in environmental protection as the primary illegal dumping enforcement agency for the City of Los Angeles. The City currently spends millions of dollars yearly cleaning up illegal dumping. The Bureau of Street Services removed more than 200,000 cubic yards of illegally dumped trash during Fiscal Year 2005-2006. Beginning in January of 2003, the Bureau, in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department and the City Attorney's Neighborhood Prosecutor Program, initiated a successful program to apprehend and prosecute illegal dumpers. The Program won the "Protect and Serve" category Productivity Award for 2006 for the use of Bureau Investigators to make custodial arrests and book misdemeanor illegal dumpers. This redirected the use of sworn police officers to handle more serious life threatening crimes while assuring effective enforcement of illegal dumping laws. Maximum effectiveness requires dedicated enforcement in the areas experiencing consistent illegal dumping and most frequently cleaned by city forces. To date the program has resulted in:
Funding is provided for the planting of only about 4,500 trees per year by Bureau forces. The Bureau's internal goal is 5,000. With the experience and expertise of the Urban Forestry Division (UFD) workforce, several efficiencies and best practices have been learned and implemented through the years. In addition, the UFD conducts training workshops and participates in community fairs in order to get others to participate and contribute. The result is the planting of hundreds, if not thousands, of additional trees that the Bureau would otherwise not be able to accomplish.
Million Trees Los Angeles Initiative
BSS has a key leadership role in the implementation of the Mayor's Million Tree Initiative. This program will serve as a benchmark for other environmentally beneficial programs and policies leading to the goal of the "Greenest Big City in America".
Many of the one million new trees will be planted by City departments in the public right-of-way. Others will be planted throughout the City by individual volunteers, community groups, organizations, and businesses. Successful implementation will be a cooperative effort between the City of Los Angeles, community groups, businesses, and individuals working together to plant and provide long-term sustainability of one million trees planted where they're needed most.
Stormwater Diversion Pilot Projects
BSS partnered with the non-profit organization, Northeast Trees, to design and construct a pilot project to
capture and divert stormwater runoff into filtered retention basins prior to discharge into the Los Angeles River.
This "Streetends Biofiltration" project, located near the intersection of Blake Avenue and Oros Street, was recently completed and is being monitored for water quality effectiveness.
BSS is currently working with the non-profit organizations, Tree People and the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, to implement another series of pilot projects on a residential street in the East San Fernando Valley area. BSS will continue to seek out these types of opportunities, given the time to help map out a reasonable design and construction schedule.