Video: NLSLA and Sun Valley Residents Win Environmental Justice Fight
Sun Valley is quite literally Los Angeles’ dumping ground. Although the area is home to only two percent of the city’s population, it handles some 42 percent of the city’s trash.
NLSLA began working with families in Sun Valley when Waste Management, the largest trash disposal company in North America, asked the city of Los Angeles for permission to raise their landfill in Sun Valley, which was already 100 feet above ground, by another 43 feet.
This low-income, predominantly Latino community has far more than its fair share of polluting businesses, including 33 landfills, 43 auto body shops, 33 auto dismantlers, 20 concrete and building materials businesses, eight recycling centers, and several marble and stone processors. As a result, Sun Valley has twice the national rate of childhood asthma, as well as alarming rates of other respiratory illnesses and childhood allergies.
Residents in Sun Valley felt the City of Los Angeles was putting the needs of these big companies above the needs of their children. NLSLA was there to make sure their voices were heard loud and clear.