Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Song of the Week: groovin' with "Trash"

Oscar the Grouch did not write this song of the week.
Oscar the Grouch did not write this song of the week.

Song of the Week returns triumphantly and slightly prematurely (Earth Day isn't until Sunday) with the song "Trash," in fond appreciation for something that KPCC videographer Mae Ryan has worked up, which our website will debut on Sunday. For now, "Trash" by Robin Gibb is for Oscar the Grouch, and was brought to you by the letter L for Lisa Brenner, our blogger

Sometimes it's lying on a beach
Or down an alley out of reach.
Trash, I love it.

What other people throw away
I try to save for a rainy day.
Trash, I love it. 

Sanitation officials in Los Angeles have been working on plans to divert all of the city's waste away from landfills within two decades. That proposed zero-waste policy would rely, in part, on sending more materials to recycling centers. Assistant Director for Sanitation Alex Helou told me that LA is already diverting more than 65 percent of its waste away from landfills. "We've been doing a great job as a big city," he says. "We went beyond other cities. We [began to] recycle plastic bags when it was not popular, in 2006-2007. We recycle styrofoam when it's still not popular. We've done all these things." 

The LA City Council will be making decisions in the coming months about some recycling programs. One of them explores how to manage waste diversion for commercial and industrial buildings in Los Angeles. We'll have a story about that soon. 

You see I wasn't born with much
'Cept the sun and moon and such,
So I handle it all carefully.
Trash is everything to me. 

The busted strings and ragged ends,
The broken things that no one mends.
Trash, I love it.

The schemes that only last a day,
The games I'm just too old to play.
Trash, I love it.

But when I feel I'm wearing thin,
Regretting things that should've been,
I settle down quite peacefully.
Trash is everything to me.

I'm on record as not loving Earth Day, but don't forget that Sunday's also the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Baykeeper's got a free event going Saturday called "Stand Up for Clean Water." There's going to be a stand-up paddle board race (no word on whether paddle board enthusiast and KPCC reporter Brian Watt will participate), demos, lessons, and yoga on the beach. The event's actually part of a national series Waterkeeper is calling SPLASH, aimed at getting more people out paddling and surfing--and generally getting mixed up in public waters. 

Listen to all of the Songs of the Week.