Department of Public Works
Generation Earth: An Environmental Education Program from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

What We Do

Los Angeles County covers 4,083 square miles, and 10,000,000 human inhabitants call it home. Our County is finding that its landfills are filling up one by one - making it imperative to find new ways to motivate a change in residents' behavior so they reduce the quantities of waste they generate and refrain from littering and illegal dumping. Also, even on the driest day of the year, approximately 100 million gallons of contaminated water and debris drain through the Los Angeles County storm drain system and flow, untreated, into the Pacific Ocean. On rainy days, the daily flow can increase to 10 billion gallons of water. This urban runoff carries toxic pollutants as well as trash into the ocean- which kills fish or makes them unfit to eat, causes illness in swimmers, creates litter strewn beaches, endangers aquatic birds, reduces beach attendance and tourist dollars, and costs millions in annual cleanup expenses and lost revenue.

While all these problems are multi-faceted, complex and expensive both environmentally and economically, their solution is actually simple - but not easy: teach County residents to reduce, reuse and recycle and then properly dispose of the rest. That's where we come in.

Teens are powerful agents of change in their families and among their friends. Generation Earth believes that the rewarding experience of taking action for positive change will inspire teens to take responsibility for their lives and, in turn, their communities. To achieve this goal, the Generation Earth program offers many facets of education and support to students and educators alike, including:

  • Professional development workshops on environmental service learning
  • Year-round teacher support for environmental projects
  • Free bus program for field trips related to projects
  • Waste reduction and recycling workshops
  • Stormwater pollution prevention workshops
  • Teen leadership program
  • Battle of the Schools waste reduction competition
  • Year round technical support

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works is committed to protecting our communities and the environment, and providing a higher quality of life for the citizens of Los Angeles County. We salute your efforts to ensure a better environment for all. Together we can improve the quality of life for many generations to come.

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