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Solid Resources Processing & Construction Division
City of Los Angeles - Bureau of Sanitation

Information for locals about Lopez Canyon found at the Community page.

For more information about our Free Mulch Give-Away Program:

  • Address: 11950 Lopez Canyon Rd. Los Angeles, CA 91342 (Lake View Terrace)

Lopez Canyon Environmental Center Awards

Building an Environmentally Sensitive & Community Friendly Facility

In 2002 it became clear to Bureau of Sanitation managers that the three small scale green trimmings management sites operated by City staff were not enough to accommodate City needs. A task force of Lopez Canyon Landfill neighbors (individuals, neighborhood associations, local non-profits) was formed to meet with Bureau of Sanitation representatives to determine the feasibility of siting a composting facility at the closed landfill and to advise the Bureau on how this proposed facility would impact the community. Meetings were held for 9 months discussing topics that included noise, odor and traffic concerns and mitigations, site design, composting methods, and landscaping. As a result of these meetings Sanitation redesigned portions of the proposed facility, made changes to the originally proposed operations, hired a noise consultant to design noise mitigation measures and brought in a Bureau landscape architect to develop the landscaping plan. A Mitigated Negative Declaration was prepared and approved, a Memorandum of Understanding was written and signed by the Task Force and the facility became a reality in December 2003.

Over the years changes have been incorporated into the facility, sometimes based on requests by the community, sometimes based on needs identified by the Bureau of Sanitation. These changes have included providing the facility with a name chosen by the community, mitigating noises caused by truck back-up alarms, and replacing all diesel powered collection trucks coming to the landfill with trucks powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). LNG emits significantly less pollutants than diesel-fuel trucks.

Lopez Canyon Environmental Center is the processing site for curb-side collected yard trimmings from the East Valley area as well as horse manure collected by the City, into valuable mulch and compost.

The Lopez Canyon Environmental Center located at the closed Lopez Canyon Landfill is currently:

  • Providing a much-needed green recycling facility for East Valley residents
  • Providing the finished product, free, to the local community (mulch only)
  • Backyard Composting Workshops, Smart Gardening & Compost Bin Sales
  • Increasing employment opportunities for nearby residents
  • Saving the City money by operating our own mulch and compost facility
  • Providing an end product that is very beneficial for the environment

Since 2004, yard trimmings collected from residents in the San Fernando Valley have been processed at this City of Los Angeles owned and operated composting facility. Today an average of 300 tons per day (tpd) of yard trimmings are mixed with about 125 tpd of woody materials to produce high quality mulch that is given away free to City of Los Angeles residents, delivered to farmers and donated to schools, non-profits, and community groups. Another specialized product consists of horse manure and yard trimmings, compost. This horse manure compost is an STA certified product.

US Composting Council

Seal of Testing Assurance

The Bureau of Sanitation strives to provide the highest quality compost and adhere to standards adopted by the compost industry. Learn more about the Seal of Testing Assurance for our Green Giveaway, horse manure compost and Griffith Park compost at san.lacity.org/srpcd/sta_info.htm. Copies of the most current quarterly program STA data sheets for horse manure compost can be obtained here. Copies of the most current bi-monthly program STA data sheets for Green Giveaway can be obtained here. Instructions on the recommended use of the STA compost products produced by the City, at Lopez Canyon, are found here.

The Process at the Lopez Canyon Environmental Center

Producing a high quality product (either mulch or compost) involves removing contamination (anything besides organic material) from the raw materials, making piles of the cleaned material, keeping it moist, mixing it and letting it sit and decompose. The finished product looks dark and rich, like the rich soil you see under trees in the woods.

The process begins when City workers remove large contaminants by hand. The cleaned material is then loaded into a trommel screen where it’s separated by size into coarse and fine material (less than 2 inches in size). The coarse material is transported by conveyor belt to a picking station where workers again remove non-organic materials. The cleaned material is now fed into a grinder where it’s reduced in size to about 2 inches or less. This product is mixed with the other fine material that came from the trommel screen and laid out in piles (windrows) on the asphalt pad. Water is added and the windrow is mixed using a compost turner. Some of the cleaned, fine, material is mixed with horse manure and placed in separate windrows. Each windrow is approximately 20 feet wide, 8 feet high, and 300 feet long. Once placed into windrows, the material is periodically turned, monitored for proper temperature and moisture for approximately 30 days for mulch and 60 days for horse manure compost. Odor control is performed at the site by maintaining porosity in the compost piles by addition wood chips that serve as a bulking agent, piles are turned frequently and never when the wind direction is toward a residential area, odor neutralizer is atomized and used on the grounds, and proper house keeping and management practices are performed. As we are committed to constant and never-ending improvements in every aspect of our work, in order to further minimize noise and odors generated from the operation of the compost facility, we expanded the existing earth berm and installed an odor control system around the facility facing the community.

Operating Hours: Weekdays, 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Illustrated Overview of the Process

The picture gallery for this facility can be viewed online at:

Current Pictures On-Location

Move your mouse over the picture to read the caption or control the slideshow