Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County

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WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids." Join the Food Rights Network.

The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County (LACSD) is the entity responsible for handling Los Angeles County's solid waste and wastewater.[1] LACSD provides sewage sludge to the Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority, which is turned into a product branded as SoilPro compost and sold to southern California gardeners in Kellogg Garden Products like Amend, Topper, Gromulch, and Nitrohumus.


"The Sanitation Districts function on a regional scale and consist of 23 independent special districts serving about 5.7 million people in Los Angeles County. The service area covers approximately 820 square miles and encompasses 78 cities and unincorporated territory within the county." The 23 Sanitation Districts, each of which has a Board of Directors consisting of the mayor of each city, and the Chair of the Board of Supervisors for unincorporated territory within the District, work together under a Joint Administration Agreement. Together, they operate 11 wastewater treatment plants, which treat about half the wastewater in Los Angeles County. In addition, they operate "three sanitary landfills, four landfill energy recovery facilities, two recycle centers, three materials recovery/transfer facilities, and participate in the operation of two refuse-to-energy facilities."

Sewage Sludge

The Sanitation Districts sewage system produces 500,000 tons of sewage sludge per year. Prior to dewatering, LACSD digests its sludge to produce a biogas to produce electricity or heat. LACSD's sludge is disposed of as "a soil amendment for agriculture, in the manufacture of high-quality compost, and by injecting into a cement kiln to help reduce emissions."[2]

About 75,000 tons of sludge per year from LACSD go to the Inland Empire Regional Composting Facility in Rancho Cucamonga, a joint venture between LACSD and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency.[3] The composted sludge is sold under the brand SoilPro, which is then used in Kellogg Garden Products (Nitrohumus, Amend, Gromulch, and Topper) and Scotts Hyponex.

Additionally, a new facility, the Westlake Farms Co-Composting Facility in Kings County will compost LACSD's sewage sludge with the Central Valley’s agricultural waste and urban green waste. This facility is scheduled to be operational in 2013.[4] The site is near the town of Kettleman City, which already suffers from a cluster of birth deformities, presumably caused by the numerous toxins in the area's environment.[5][6]


  • P.O. Box 4998
  • Whittier, CA 90607-4998
  • Ph: (562) 699 - 7411
  • Ph: (562) 908 - 4288
  • Web:
  • Sanitation Districts Joint Administration Office
  • 1955 Workman Mill Road
  • Whittier, California 90601
  • Ph: (562) 699-7411

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. LACSD Website - About Us, Accessed April 19, 2011.
  2. LACSD Website - About Us, Accessed April 19, 2011.
  3. Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority, Compost Process, Accessed April 19, 2011.
  4. Westlake Farms Composting Facility, Accessed May 6, 2011.
  5. Jacques Leslie, "What's Killing the Babies of Kettleman City?," Mother Jones, July/August 2010, Accessed May 6, 2011.
  6. Titania Kumeh, Kettleman City's Growing Toxic Web, Mother Jones, April 20, 2011, Accessed May 6, 2011.

External resources

External articles