Errol Segal, the owner of Active Recycling Company in South L.A., has always prided himself on going above and beyond normal business practices. Now he has a proposal to help tackle the city’s heap of a trash problem. “I was driving down the street one day and I was looking into alleys and I saw a refrigerator, and a water heater and tires, and I said ‘This is not right,'” Segal said. So he offered anyone willing to dump up to 500 pounds of trash or greenwaste for free.
It seems to be working. In the two years since the pilot project launched, people from all over have dumped 6 million pounds of trash at the recycling center free of charge. If someone is caught illegally dumping trash, they could face a fine of up to $1,000. Christian Ventura, whose father owns a local mattress company, has been taking advantage of Segal’s offer. “We don’t want to become part of the problem because we do see a lot of mattresses out on the streets that are old that do create a problem,” Christian Ventura of Olivo Mattress said.
He estimates it would cost him $200 to $300 a month otherwise. “You’re talking about from $60 to $80 per trip, and we do about 2 to 3 trips a week,” Ventura said.
Earlier this week, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti blamed the city’s mounting problem and growing health concerns on illegal dumping.
Segal has proof he’s been leading by example, creating a clean recycling business. “I thought this is a best way to try and help the problem. It’s not costing the taxpayers any money and I’m shouldering all the costs,” he said.