As far as home and garden sections of major newspapers go, the one over at the Los Angeles Times is a real gem. Well, at least the home’s section’s blog offshoot, L.A. at Home, is.

Sure, the blog showcases sprawling, sleek multimillion dollar homes in neighborhoods like Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, and Malibu along with plenty of pricey Mid-century Modern furniture to populate all of these homes. But there’s also a fair amount of content that doesn’t fall under the banner of drool-worthy (or envy-inducing) Southern California real estate porn.

There’s an excellent series of Community Garden dispatches; Emily Green’s excellent column on sustainable gardening, The Dry Garden; frequent profiles of young, eco-minded designers; and, until this past October, there was Susan Carpenter’s fabulous Realist Idealist column that chronicled — warts and all — the reporter’s two-year eco-living experiment.

This week, the print section of the L.A. Times is focusing in a topic that may not be as sustainable/sexy as greenthumbed hipsters in Los Feliz or eco-renovations in Manhattan Beach, but it's no less important: trash.

Writes Craig Nanako on the L.A. at Home blog:

You know the cool yogurt shop spoons — the ones that say "biodegradable"? Can they go in the blue bin for recycling? Or the green bin to be composted with yard waste? Or do they go in the black bin with non-recyclable trash, your conscience eased by the assumption that this plastic will break down faster in the landfill? (And does it, really?)

Pose these questions to enough intelligent, responsible, well-intentioned adults, and you're likely to get different answers. Which is why the print edition of the Los Angeles Times Home section this week is all about trash: the new wrinkles in recycling and future efforts to reduce the amount of waste we create in the first place.

Special trash-tastic features include a walk down memory lane with a Los Angeles recycling timeline, a fascinating lead feature on the state of trash in Southern California by Mary MacVean, a story on the hoarding tendencies of kids, and last but not least, a new column called the Garbage Maven from Susan Carpenter.

This is all good stuff from a city that diverts 65 percent of its 10 million tons of annual trash from landfills and isn’t really known for its waste problems (or solutions a la compost-crazy San Francisco) … there are plenty of other environmental woes, air quality being the biggie, to go around in La-La Land.

Southern California residents: what do you think of the L.A. Time’s special trash coverage this week? Do any of the articles (all available to read online) resonate with you? 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

The L.A. Times resorts to trash talk
Move over modernist architecture and water-smart gardening ... trash is the talk of the town all this week in the Home section of the 'Los Angeles Times.'