Collaboration with Athens Services Kicks Off Food Scrap Recovery Pilot at 16-Unit Residence in Lincoln Heights

July 9, 2014 (Los Angeles, CA) -- Santa Monica-based, national environmental non-profit Global Green USA and Athens Services, one of L.A.'s largest recycling and waste services company, have joined forces to introduce food scrap recovery to more multi-family buildings, starting in Lincoln Heights. The pilot represents the largest residential building to implement food scrap collection in the city to date.

According to the EPA, 95% of food scraps are landfilled in the US each year, resulting in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to seven coal-fired power plants. Global Green is committed to helping pilot and deploy systems that will reduce these climate impacts. This pilot is the first of a series of food scrap recovery systems that Global Green will be helping deploy over the next year in major cities in California and New York.

Athens Services, Global Green, and the building's residents kicked off the beginning of their composting efforts with a celebration featuring food, fun, and a raffle which included Dodgers tickets as the grand prize.

“The city of Los Angeles under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership is committed to 70% waste reduction by 2020,” said Mary Luévano, Interim Executive Director of Global Green USA. “Through our Coalition for Resource Recovery project, we have identified the tools we need to get simple, convenient food scrap recovery established in homes and neighborhoods across LA. By diverting these nutrient-rich food scraps from landfill and back into our soils we are closing the loop on our local food system, and saving water and energy.” Food scraps account for 35% of the landfilled waste in Los Angeles, releasing 1.2 million tons of greenhouse gases. “If all this waste were to be composted, it would reduce emissions equivalent to replacing fossil-fuel-based power production with 300 new wind turbines,” Luévano added.

“As a property management company, diverting our waste just makes sense," said Cristal Gonzalez of Clint Lukens Realty. "It will help us control our waste costs, and it's a great way to give our tenants the opportunity to act on their desire to reduce landfilled waste, and teach their children about caring for the environment.”

Athens Services, one of the few haulers in L.A. with a composting facility, will be transporting all organic discards, including vegetables, meat, dairy, food-soiled paper, and compostable serving ware, from the apartment complex to their facility in Victorville, California where it will be turned into valuable soil amendment. “This pilot is the first step in successfully implementing multifamily organics collection,” said Jessica Aldridge, Athens' Sustainability Manager. “We are thrilled to assist our customers in composting their food discards. This process will help us understand how to best meet the residents’ needs, all the while supporting the City’s goal of Zero Waste and protecting our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from landfills.”

In addition to co-hosting the event, Global Green USA organized the initial donation of bins and bags to the building from EcoSafe®, a company that provides educational materials, “in house” kitchen caddies, and a bag dispenser system that provides the residents with a supply of replacement certified compostable liners. “We have been supporting the Zero Waste industry with solution-based programs for over 13 years, and have recently implemented successful multi residential programs from New York to San Francisco,” said Jason Sanders, National Manager - Zero Waste Programs EcoSafe®. “We are delighted and proud to be a part of the very first food scrap diversion program in a Los Angeles apartment building of this size. “

Global Green USA is dedicated to helping the people, places, and the planet in need through catalytic projects, transformative policy, and cutting-edge research. Global Green USA's signature programs include greening affordable housing, schools, neighborhoods, and cities as well as rebuilding communities -- such as New Orleans and areas of New York and New Jersey -- that have suffered from the impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and environmental degradation. Global Green USA is the U.S. affiliate of Green Cross International, which was founded by President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993 to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. For more information, and follow us @globalgreen.

For over 50 years, Athens Services has been part of the Southern California community that they are proud to call home. They are leading the way to achieve zero waste through advanced recycling, composting and waste diversion. Whether it’s one, two or three bins, everything is always sorted for resources. Athens Services strives to provide an unmatched level of service with responsible, practical and cost-effective solutions. Their commitment every day is to provide the very best waste service program in the country for the Southern California community that we all call home. For more information, visit

For additional information, please contact Tina Vennegaard at[email protected] and 310-581-2700 x117, or Lily Kelly, Senior Program Associate, Coalition for Resource Recovery, at [email protected] and 415-697-0399.

View photos here.