Hundreds of California cities and counties are falling short of a goal to reduce by 50 percent the amount of garbage they dump in landfills by 2000, much to the chagrin of enviros who have backed the state’s 1989 recycling law, which is the most comprehensive in the nation. Of 451 jurisdictions that reported their progress to the state, only 104, or 23 percent, had met the law’s goal by the end of 1997, and a preliminary look at 1998 numbers indicated that the percentage had remained about the same. Some of the state’s largest cities, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego, are close to the 50 percent goal, but many municipalities are finding it quite difficult to take the final steps to meet the goal. Cities and counties that fail to meet the deadline face potential fines of up to $10,000 a day beginning in 2001.