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Metro is working to reduce and divert waste across our operations. Some current initiatives include:

Master Plan for Solid Waste Reduction and Reuse (2016):
Building on the Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling & Reuse Policy (2007), initial efforts have focused on compliance with disposal and recycling regulations,  hazardous waste and used oil management. New focus areas include labeling and storage of empty containers, development of a waste management hierarchy, developing an organics management program, and widening the scope of training for all employees on all shifts.

Green Procurement:

Metro has begun the process to re-invent how we are procuring for goods and services. This means thinking about every product we use and how to reduce our impact on the environment. For example:

  • Replacing R22 Refrigerant:

    Partnering with DuPont, Metro mechanics tested new, lower CFC refrigerant, preserving our ozone layer, keeping our air cleaner, and improving maintenance practices on air conditioning units. This pilot is now expanding use across Agency facilities.

Diverting waste from landfills:

Metro is expanding efforts to understand waste streams and pilot projects to effect change. See the Energy and Resource Report for information on these and additional highlighted projects:

  • Waste Characterization Study (2017):

    To monitor the effectiveness of Metro’s Desk-side recycling Program and to determine next areas for focus, this study created a snapshot of waste streams at Metro Headquarters building.
  • Pallet Return Program:

    Metro’s Central Maintenance Facility (CMF) heavy-duty pallets last nearly five times as long as their standard wooden counterparts, preventing approximately 2,100 tons of wood waste from going to landfills each year.
  • Banners-to-Bags (2016):

    Advertising banners that hang outside buildings no longer go to the landfill when damaged or are no longer needed. They are turned into reusable shopping bags for distribution at local events.
  • Desk-side Recycling (2009):

    Program increases the agency’s recycling efforts. In 2011, 41% of solid waste was diverted to recycling.
  • Oil Filter Crushers Pilot:

    Condensing used oil filters before disposal means more filters can fit into a hazardous waste drum, reducing disposal costs. Use of crushers are being expanded Agency-wide.

Waste – Performance outcomes and trends

Solid Waste

The total solid waste and diversion from landfill metrics measure Metro’s municipal solid waste (MSW) generation and diversion resulting from Metro’s daily operations. Diversion from Landfill compares the total amount of MSW generated with the amount of solid waste that was diverted from landfill through reduction, reuse, recycling, and organic waste recycling efforts:

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Hazardous waste:

Anti-freeze waste has been consistently trending downward. Metro achieved a 10% reduction in hazardous liquid disposal in 2017 compared to 2016. Hazardous liquids come from clarifiers, steam bays, and fuel station trenches associated with Metro’s bus operations:

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EMS - Our Process

Environmental Management System:

A set of methods used to achieve and maintain environmental compliance. Launched at operating Divisions in 2009, EMS expanded to Capital projects (Crenshaw-LAX) in 2016 and now includes PLE1 and Regional Connector. Metro’s EMS is certified to the ISO 14001:2015 standard. EMS utilizes the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle to identify and reduce risks, including periodic audits and a performance management review.

Environmental Training Institute (ETI):

Training is provided to employees in the following topics reflecting regulations and Agency goals:

  • Stormwater and Industrial Wastewater
  • Hazardous Waste and Universal Waste
  • Aboveground and Underground Tanks (AST/UST)
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Photovoltaic (PV) system monitoring and maintenance
  • Low Impact Development (LID) strategies
  • Other, including certification classes within Growing a Greener Workforce

Guiding policies for our process include: