Kiss the Ground!

Why Soil?

Soil is a vital part of the natural environment! Therefore, building and maintaining healthy soil is important.

Below are a few benefits healthy soil provides for our environment, according to Kiss the Ground:

  • Less CO2
Soil carbon sequestration is possible when soil is healthy. Plant photosynthesis uses sunlight to combine carbon dioxide and water to produce carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are used to build plant structure and 30-40% of them are pushed through the roots to feed fungi and bacteria who use it to build soil organic matter (storing in carbon in the ground).
  • Drought Resistence
Healthy soil contains soil organic matter. Soil organic matter (humus) can retain 20x its weight in water, allowing for continuous, easy access for plant/micro-organism use. Additionally, healthy soil allows infiltration of water, reducing runoff into oceans and restoring our water tables.
  • Clean Water
Soil organic matter (humus) is 50% carbon. In the soil, carbon acts just like your own home carbon water filter, capturing heavy metals and toxins that are unwanted in the water supply. Additionally, healthy soil reduces the need for toxic chemicals and the consequent contamination of our watersheds.
  • Restored Habitats
Healthy soil is full of life. In fact, it’s the most biodiverse place on earth. There are more organisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than all of the people on planet earth. When the soil food web is activated, diverse plants and animals can return and above ground habitats can be restored.
  • Healthy Food
You can’t have healthy, nutrient-dense food, without healthy soil. The healthy soil matrix is full of life, working in concert with the plant. The plant feeds the organisms and the organisms access minerals with enzymes, etc, for the plan from the soils substrate. For example, today you can find oranges grown from poor soil that don’t contain any Vitamin C.

Visit Kiss the Ground to learn more about the power of healthy soil.

Keep Back to School Shopping Green!

Waste Reduction Before School!

Summer is almost at an end and the new school year is just around the corner. Manage back to school shopping by practicing the “3 Rs” of waste reduction!

There are lots of ways to make sure you do your part to reduce, reuse and recycle when heading back to school.

  • Reduce
Before hitting the stores; take a look at what is left over from last year. Buying large quantities only saves money if you actually use what you buy. Avoid ending up with more than you will need. Click here for Tips on How to Reduce Waste when back to school shopping.
  • Reuse
Are there supplies that can be purchased used? Can you make any supplies out of recyclables you may already have around the house? Shop at thrift stores and encourage your kids to take good care of supplies so they last longer. Friends, family and neighbors are also a good source for borrowing or sharing supplies. Make sure you limit the amount of waste you create every day and try to donate supplies that are in good condition.
  • Recycle
Buy supplies made from recycled materials. Look for pencils, paper, binders, and notebooks made with recycled paper. Most major stores have recycled-content options.

Save money and save the environment when heading back to school! Visit CalRecycle for further Back to School Waste Prevention tips.

“One Person’s Trash…”

Your Guide to Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling

New – recycling electronic newsletter!

Save paper and check out the latest environmental news from the Public Works Department!

  • Sign up to have our next issue delivered directly to you!
To have future issues of this newsletter sent directly to your email, please send your name
and email address to ASherman@TorranceCA.Gov. In the subject line, please say: “Add me to e-newsletter list.” Your email address will only be used for purposes of this newsletter.

Visit the Torrance Public Works website for more information.

Safe Disposal of Pesticides!

A Guide on How to Handle Old or Unused Pesticides!

Plants, insects, bacteria, fungi and other organisms are a natural part of the environment. Some can benefit people, while others can be pests that you may need or want to control. You can choose from many different methods to control a pest. One method is to use a pesticide.

A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances used to destroy, suppress or alter the life cycle of any pest. It is important that pesticides are used only where they are absolutely justified. It is essential that you carefully identify the pest you wish to control and then fully consider all the control options. When using a pesticide you must always follow label directions.

Most common pesticides contain toxins and are categorized as household hazardous waste (HHW). Improper disposal of pesticides can result in accidental poisonings of children, pets, and wildlife, so it’s important that you avoid certain habits when getting rid of leftover pesticides.

  • Do NOT pour leftover pesticides down the sink, into the toilet, or down a sewer or street drain.
  • Never reuse pesticide containers to carry or store other items, especially food or drinks. When empty, triple-rinse and dispose of the container according to label instructions.
  • Never puncture or burn a pressurized or aerosol container – it could explode.

Follow these safety recommendations for safe disposal of pesticides and their containers:

  • The best way to dispose of small amounts of excess pesticides is to apply them for the specified pest according to the directions on the label.
  • If you have no further use for them, ask your neighbors whether they have a similar pest control problem and can use them.
  • The donated pesticide must be in its original, fully-labeled container.
  • Make sure that the person who receives it can read and follow the label directions.
  • Always follow the label directions for disposal.
  • Drop off at a Household Hazardous Waste Round-Up or permanent location.
    Visit Los Angeles County Sanitation District website for more information on upcoming events and locations.
  • Hyperion Treatment Plant S.A.F.E. Center
    7660 W. Imperial Hwy., Gate B
    Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
  • Gaffey Street S.A.F.E. Center
    1400 Gaffey St.
    San Pedro, CA 90731

Visit the City of Torrance Public Works Household Hazardous Waste homepage for more information.

Water Regulations & Conservation!

Remember the 2-6-8-10 Plan!

On May 5, 2015, City Council approved activation of Level 2 water requirements due to the severity of the drought and to meet the new state regulations.

The Conservation Ordinance applies to the entire City regardless of retail water supplier.

Level 2 -Water Use Requirements and Regulations:

  • Calls for up to 30 percent water use reduction
  • No outside watering fro 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Outdoor watering limited to two days a week for 10 minutes per area or irrigation station
  • Fix all leaks within four days
  • No watering 48 hours after rain event
  • Certain restrictions on filling and refilling of pools, spas and ponds
  • Provides for administrative rules to implement the ordinance

Permanent Requirements In Effect at all Times:

  • No excessive runoff from outdoor watering
  • No washing of exterior surfaces
  • No washing of vehicles with “open hose”
  • All water features must have a re-circulating system
For more information on restrictions and regulations, visit this Torrance Public Works webpage.

Remember the 2-6-8-10 Plan!
2 Days a week
6 PM – 8 AM Watering Times
10 Minutes/area (watering station)

Water is a limited and valuable resource. Use it wisely and conserve for tomorrow.

Water Conservation Tips for the Home:

  • Check faucets, pipes, and toilets for leaks
  • Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
  • Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads

Water Conservation Tips for the Yard and Garden:

  • Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
  • Water your lawn only when it needs it
  • Don’t run the hose while washing your car
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks

Click here for a list of 100+ WATER USE IT WISELY conservation tips.

Household Battery Disposal!

Dispose of Unwanted Household Batteries Properly!

It is ILLEGAL to throw away household batteries!

More than 900,000 household batteries are improperly and illegally disposed of each year in Los Angeles. Batteries that end up in landfills have a negative effect on our environment, potentially causing serious health risks to humans and animals.

AA, AAA, C cells, D cells and button batteries (e.g. hearing aid batteries) must be disposed of properly because they may contain a corrosive chemical that can cause burns as well as toxic heavy metals like cadmium.

To encourage proper dispose of household batteries, Los Angeles County offers free and convenient collection and drop-off programs to get rid of unwanted batteries safely. PLEASE NOTE: Tape positive (+) end of batteries before taking to a collection site.

You can dispose of household batteries by doing one of the following:

Drop off household batteries at a mobile Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste Collection event or permanent collection center.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming events. Click here for a list of permanent center locations.

Take to a designated County Library collection site. Click here for a complete list of the County Library collection sites.

Take to a local collection center. Click here for a list of local retail store collection centers.

Please call collection sites for hours of operation and regulations.

Earth Day – April 22nd!

45th Anniversary of Earth Day!

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, marking what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. Forty five years later, Earth Day continues to be a day of action!

On April 22 citizens throughout the world participate in various community activities to help keep our environment beautiful.

Join the City of Torrance in celebrating Earth Day this year by participating in the community events going on this month!

  • Madrona Marsh Earth Day Fair
Saturday, April 18th (9am-2pm)
3021 Plaza Del Amo Terrace

Admission is FREE!
Enjoy arts and crafts, docent led tours and a kids concert with artist Dan Crow, regularly seen on Nickelodeon and The Learning Channel.
For more information visit this Friends of Madrona March webpage or call 310-782-3989.
  • City of Torrance Earth Day Recycling Event
Saturday, April 25th (8am-12pm)
Toyota Employee Parking Lot (off Toyota Way, south of the intersection of 190th and Van Ness)

Free to Torrance Residents!
– Paper Shredding Drop-Off
– Electronics Recycling Drop-Off
– Shoe and Clothing Recycling Drop-Off
– Used Oil and Filter Exchange Drop-Off
For more information visit this Recycle Torrance Events webpage of contact Torrance Public Works at 310-781-6900.

Click here to view The Torrance Public Works Department Newsletter. “One’s Person’s Trash…” Your guide to reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Medical Waste and Sharps!

How to Store and Dispose of Medical Waste and Sharps!

Medication waste is synonymous with drug waste, pharmaceutical waste, unused or expired medication, unused or expired drugs, prescription and over-the-counter human drugs, veterinary drugs, diagnostic agents, and nutritional supplements. Sharps include lancets, hypodermic needles, syringes, scalpel blades and broken glass articles (other than household items). According to state law, an approved sharps container is rigid, leak-proof, puncture resistant, sealed and clearly marked with the bio-hazard symbol.


  • Flush your sharps waste or medications down the toilet or drain.
  • Place your sharps waste in the trash, green waste, or recycling bin.
  • Put needles into used plastic milk jugs, bleach bottles, or soda bottles.
  • Never place medical waste and sharps in the trash or recycling container.

To properly store medical sharps prior to disposal:
Place in a rigid, hard plastic or metal container with a screw-on or tight-fitting lid. The container should be puncture-resistant and leak proof. Milk containers are not puncture resistant. Once the container is 3/4 full, close the lid tightly and seal it with duct tape. Mark the container very clearly “SHARPS.”

Containers specifically made for sharps storage can be purchased at pharmacies or medical supply stores. Including:

  • Health Care Partners Medical Group, 3565 Del Amo Blvd., Torrance, 90503 (310) 793-4647. Hours: Monday to Friday – 8am to 5pm
  • Some Goodwill Stores distribute sharps containers for free. Click here for a listing.

To properly dispose of medical sharps:
Medical sharps are a hazardous waste that cannot be disposed with regular trash. Below are a list of ways to properly dispose of medical waste and sharps.

Drop-off Collection Sites
Filled sharps containers can be taken to appropriate collection sites, which may include doctors’ offices, hospitals, health clinics, pharmacies, health departments, community organizations, police and fire stations, and medical waste facilities.

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has drop-off locations for medical sharps. Click here for a listing of locations or visit their website.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sites
Self-injectors can take their used sharps to household hazardous waste collection sites, and place them in the sharps collection bins.

For a hazardous waste drop off event or permanent hazardous waste facility, visit for a list of upcoming HHW collection events and permanent facilities.

Mail-Back Programs
Used sharps can be mailed (in accordance with U.S. Postal Service requirements), to a collection site for proper disposal. Mail-back programs are available for individual use by sharps users, and can also serve as a disposal method for community collection sites, but there may be a charge, so please contact them.

For more information, please contact the City of Torrance Public Works Department at 310-781-6900 or click here to go to the website.

Rain Barrel!

Conserve water and energy!

A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams.

Usually a rain barrel is composed of a 55 gallon drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate to keep debris and insects out, and other off-the-shelf items, a rain barrel is relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and can sit conveniently under any residential gutter down spout.

Ready-made rain barrels can be purchased from a number of companies, including hardware stores and garden supply stores.

The Rain Barrel International is now offering a series of Truckload Sales in the Los Angeles area. Rain Barrels are available for $85, purchases must be made online in advance of event. Visit their website for a list of upcoming events.

Here are some benefits of having a Rain Barrel at your home:

  • A rain barrel diverts water from municipal storm drain systems and protects our water systems from runoff pollution.
  • A rain barrel collects water and stores it for when you need it most, during periods of drought.
  • It provides an ample supply of free “soft water” to homeowners, containing no chlorine, lime or calcium making it ideal for gardens, flowerpots, and car and window washing.
  • A rain barrel will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months.
  • Saving water not only helps protect our environment, it saves you money and energy by decreased demand for treated tap water.

Diverting water from storm drains also decreases the impact of runoff to streams. Therefore, a rain barrel is an easy way for you to have a consistent supply of clean, fresh water for outdoor use. Click here for Tips to Place and Maintain a Rain Barrel.

The Metropolitan Water District also offers a $75 rebate for up to 4 rain barrels per household! To receive rebate, the barrel must be at least 50 gallons and designed for the intended purpose of rain capture. Click here for Rebate Guidelines.

For further rebate information visit or call 1-888-376-3314.

New Year Cleaning!

Large, Bulky Item Pick-Ups!

The holiday season has come and gone … and left a mess behind. Looking around, you wonder how you’ll ever replace your old couch and appliances with your new ones! Well, the City of Torrance will pick up your old items from you for FREE!

For residents with City services for rubbish and recycling, a free pickup of large or bulky items can be requested. Large item collection is available on an on-call basis once per calendar year per address.

The City will pick up twenty (20) items per pick up.

  • Small items must be tied in bags.
  • To schedule your once a year large item pickup, call our customer service office, Global Water, toll-free at 855-354-5623, Monday through Thursday, 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.
  • Your pick up will take place the following week on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
  • Place items where recycling is picked up, at least five feet away from your trash and recycling containers.
  • Torrance Municipal Code states that materials cannot be placed for collection earlier than 12 hours before the scheduled pickup.
  • Cancellations must be made at least one day in advance of your scheduled pickup.

The following are NOT collected as part of this program:

  • Construction materials (examples: wood, concrete, bricks, and drywall)
  • Major yard cleanup debris (examples: trunks and stumps, sod, and dirt)
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting
  • Auto parts
  • Spas, hot tubs
  • Pianos, organs
  • Household hazardous wastes, including TVs, computer monitors, and electronics. If you have hazardous waste or electronics, click here for suggestions.

Residents are also encouraged to consider recycling any items in usable condition by donating them to a non-profit organization. The following organizations provide pick-up or drop-off service:

  • Goodwill: 562-435-7741
  • Salvation Army: 800-958-7825
  • Habitat for Humanity: 310-323-5665

For residents with working refrigerators to be discarded, you may be entitled to a rebate from Southern California Edison. Click here for details.

For residents who have items the City will not take, or for those who have already used the large item pick up for the year, click here for a list of local transfer stations that are open to the public. Please call ahead for prices, accepted materials, recycling options or other requirements.

Please note: Large Item Collection is not available during the time of our Christmas tree recycling program, which usually starts after Christmas and continues for about two weeks.