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What You Need To Know Today: California’s Recycling Problem, LA Protests Against Iranian Government, Plan For Dodger Stadium Aerial Gondola

A close-up of multiple large bags of empty canned drinks.
Used drinks cans and bottles for recycling are piled up at a collection point.
(Ed Jones
AFP via Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Monday, October 24.  

Today in How To LA: Digging into California’s recycling problem, protesters against the Iranian government filled the streets of downtown LA; plus a proposal for an aerial gondola to Dodger Stadium needs your input. 

California has a recycling problem. Even though our recycling rates have been increasing nationwide, redemption rates have drastically fallen in California, according to Consumer Watchdog. Part of the problem is the loss of redemption sites up and down the state — those are sites where you can get a small refund for turning in glass bottles and cans. Despite the perception that California is an environmentally conscious paradise, we’re sitting on millions of dollars in unclaimed bottle deposit funds and we currently have more landfills than any other state in the nation.

“We lost more than 1200 redemption centers in the state,” said Susan Collins, president of the Container Recycling Institute. “That means that entire neighborhoods became redemption deserts or sometimes it was even entire counties that became redemption deserts.”
— Susan Collins, President, Container Recycling Institute
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But there is potentially good news, California. 

How To LA podcast host Brian De Los Santos talks to Collins about some big, impactful expansions to the Container Deposit Law, also known as the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act.

Here are a few changes:

  1. An increase in funding to do things like open more redemption sites. 
  2. Californians will be able to bring wine and liquor bottles to redemption sites and get 10 cents back, starting Jan. 1, 2024. That includes travel size bottles, too. 
  3. Grant incentives for applicants who collect recycled glass, as well as funding for local programs.

What is the impact of this? 

Well, there’ll be more redemption centers, which means people will find more motivation to recycle the everyday items that they use (remember there is money to be made!). Plus, the state will accept more types of recyclables, which means that these items, like wine bottles, won’t end up in a landfill.

The only thing is, Collins noted, these changes may take a while. Also, Collins said that funds to promote the new changes was not included the bill. So please spread the word!

Listen to the How To LA podcast recycling episode to find out more about the current problems, and get a glimpse into how our recyclables and food waste gets processed in L.A. County. Warning: it does indeed get stinky in this episode. Hold your nose!

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Pssst…before you leave, today Oct. 24 is the last day to register to vote onlineIf you have questions about that process, we've got some answers.

Saturday, Oct. 29 is the day that in-person voting begins. Tuesday, Nov. 1 is the deadline to request a new vote-by-mail ballot. Lastly, Tuesday, Nov. 8 is election day and the deadline to return your vote-by-mail ballot.

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As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

The News You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze

*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • Calls continue for Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin De León to resign. Now, Governor Gavin Newsom has joined in, asking him and fellow councilmember Gil Cedillo to step down. (LAist/ Los Angeles Times)
  • Following anti-semitic comments made repeatedly by rapper Kanye West in recent weeks, hate signs and Nazi salutes were seen on a 405 Freeway overpass this weekend. Here's how officials are responding. (Los Angeles Times)
  • After working out an agreement with the city of Los Angeles during the pandemic, residents of six households who had been living in Caltrans-owned homes in El Sereno now have to leave. The two-year agreement between the city and a group called “Reclaimers” is expiring. 
  • What do you think about an aerial gondola that could help get you to and from the Union Station and Dodgers Stadium? During the next couple of months, L.A. Metro will hold meetings to share the proposal and ask the public to weigh in. My colleague Ryan Fonseca has all the latest information about this new project
  • Teacher shortages in West Contra Costa Unified School District and Los Angeles Unified School District have led to the reassigning of teachers a month or more into the new school term. Some say that’s too late and it’s harming students.
  • Scientists are now finding out that two natural disasters that happened at the same time in July 2018 — heavy thunderstorms in Colorado and massive wildfires in Northern California — were actually connected to each other. Here’s how one disaster in an area thousands of miles away can make a difference in forecasting a disaster in another place.. 
  • What does a Lucha libre, burlesque show and Twilight Zone all have in common? Yeah, I made that face too. Lucha VaVoom Halloween sounds like one heck of a twisted good time for $45 if you ask me. Check out this event and more in this week’s edition of Best Things To Do This Week In L.A. and SoCal. 
  • Good news…for now: The Supreme Court won’t blockPresident Bidens’ student debt relief plan. It will continue to move forward, even after requests to stop the plan.

Wait! One More Thing...Top Three Tea-Sipping Trends

Protesters flood a long downtown Los Angeles street as far as the eye can see.
(Andy Cheatwood

Wait! One More Thing…The Top Three Tea-Sipping Trends 

THREE - Taylor Swift’s 10th album “Midnights” Breaks Records 

With so many hot contenders, we already know February’s Grammy Awards will be one to watch. Taylor Swift’s latest album “Midnights” has had the largest sales week for any album in six years. It’s also the most-streamed album in a single day in Spotify history AND the top-selling album of 2022 so far. NPR’s Ann Powers wrote about Swift’s softened, expanded sound in a review of her 10th album.

I don’t know what you see on your Twitter Timeline, but everyone has been talking about who will take home Album of the Year!

TWO - Happy Diwali! Learn About This Hindu Holiday. 

Diwali is one of India’s biggest holidays. And now more than ever, it’s becoming easierfor South Asian Americans to celebrate here in the states and…in L.A. My college Neha Shaida wrote about the five-day Hindu Festival of Lightsin a guide on how to celebrate Diwali in L.A. Neha includes places to eat, the best places to buy Indian sweets and a few Diwali celebrations around the county.

ONE - Huge Iran Protest March Downtown  

If you were in downtown L.A. this Saturday, you likely saw thousands of protesters clad in the Iranian flag colors of red, white and red. This was the second of such protests downtown in recent weeks — part of a huge movement of protests happening around the world against the treatment of women in Iran after the arrest and death of Mahsa Amini, 22, last month. She died in the custody of Iran’s morality police and witnesses say she was beaten.To get a sense of how massive the turnout was this weekend, check out these photos.

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