LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Community College District is working to achieve its zero-waste policy through a new program that diverts excess equipment and furnishings from landfills.
The LACCD has diverted 98 percent of surplus materials from landfills through a partnership with Agoura Hills-based asset management firm AsseTek.
More than 65 percent of its assets are being sold on publicsurplus.com, an online auction house similar to eBay. The rest is donated to charter schools, shelters and nonprofit groups or sold to certified waste-recyclers.
The Internet auction site allows the school to sell anything from portable classrooms and buses to computers and furniture.
Gilda Arteaga, data technician for AsseTek, recently helped with the latest auction of surplus materials from the campus at East Los Angeles College.
“We sold seven pallets full of PC equipment, as well as a double-deck convection oven, used furniture and numerous other surplus assets,” Arteaga says. “Most of these items start at less than $100.”
Auction sales of those items amounted to $6,700 for the college district, she says.
The relationship with AssesTek has also benefited graduates at LACCD campuses. The company’s CEO Tom Brown estimates that 75 percent to 80 percent of his employees graduated from colleges in the district and helped jumpstart the program.
The company hires students that were recommended by the college’s staff and maintained at least a 3.0 grade-point average, Brown says.
“A lot have stayed with me,” he says. “Over the last four and a half years we hired three students from Los Angeles Valley College that became part of our software development team.”
AsseTek’s client list also includes the Long Beach Unified School District. Brown is also in talks with the Foundation for California Community Colleges to extend the program to campuses statewide.