Visitors to Venice Beach will no longer have to scour the Boardwalk to find a place to recycle.
Looking to improve recycling habits and promote environmental awareness in the local area, leaders in the Venice community worked to get new recycling bins placed along the popular Ocean Front Walk, also known as the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
The 12 blue recycling bins, which have been placed next to trash containers at various busy sections of the Boardwalk, are intended to help reduce landfill waste, curb ocean pollution, promote recycling and create “green collar” jobs for homeless individuals.
Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, along with members of the Venice Neighborhood Council and representatives of the city Bureau of Sanitation and Chrysalis Enterprises, launched the new recycling program on Ocean Front Walk during a ceremony Thursday, June 12th.
“This project is great for the community, great for the environment and great for the homeless,” said Rosendahl, who represents Venice in the 11th Council District.
The councilman noted how Venice Beach is the top tourist attraction in Los Angeles and the program, which allows for recycling in public places, can serve as a model for other communities.
“We’re taking a public space and putting in recycling, something that is a must for every city in America,” Rosendahl said. “Where there is a public space, there should be recycling in those public spaces.”
The recycling bins, which have containers for items including glass, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, metals and paper, will be emptied and maintained by clients of Chrysalis Enterprises. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping homeless and low-income people become self sufficient through employment opportunities.
The blue bins were specifically designed to be visually consistent with the blue bins that Los Angeles residents use to recycle at their homes, officials note. The Bureau of Sanitation purchased the bins through proceeds from a tax on private trash haulers.
The effort to install the bins was begun by the Venice Neighborhood Council as a way to make the community more environmentally sustainable. Council members worked with city agencies in the process and played a key role in designing the bins and selecting their location along the Boardwalk.
Neighborhood Council president Mike Newhouse said Venice Beach is one of his favorite places to visit but one thing he had noticed as being “conspicuously absent” there was recycling. Newhouse praised the cooperative efforts of various city agencies to provide a recycling program for Venice.
“This is a model example of how we need to continue to do things in Venice,” Newhouse said. “I envision this process as a model for similar collaborative efforts in Venice and throughout the city.”
Mark Loranger, Chrysalis Enterprises vice president, also considered it to be “kind of embarrassing” that such an environ- mentally conscious city like Los Angeles did not have proper recycling facilities at its top tourist attraction.
“It’s a long time coming and a huge step forward,” Loranger said of the program.
Loranger said that in addition to providing a place for recycling, the program is particularly significant as a means to offering transitional jobs for Chrysalis clients who are looking to turn their lives around.
Chrysalis will sell the collected materials from the bins to recycling companies that will convert the materials into new products.
Department of Recreation and Parks officials said they expect to see trash disposal costs decrease thanks to the recycling program at Venice Beach. The project will also help implement the city’s Zero Waste Plan, which is intended to reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills, officials said.
Additional recycling bins are planned for Pacific Palisades, where the city’s first blue bin was installed in April.