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Garcetti Signs New Trash Hauling System For Apartments, Businesses

Only one hauler may serve each of 11 geographic zones in the city. The franchise program could affect as many as 45 private companies.

Soon, only one trash hauler may serve in each of the 11 geographic zones in Los Angeles for apartments and businesses. Patch file photo.
Soon, only one trash hauler may serve in each of the 11 geographic zones in Los Angeles for apartments and businesses. Patch file photo.

By ELIZABETH HSING-HUEI CHOU

City News Service

Mayor Eric Garcetti today signed into law an ordinance that regulates waste-hauling companies and revamps the way trash is collected from businesses and apartment buildings.

When the "Zero Waste L.A." system begins in 2017, business, apartment and condominium building owners within each of 11 geographic zones will be served by a single trash hauler and receive three types of bins -- a blue one for recyclable items, a green bin for organic waste and a black container for trash -- as is already done at single-family homes.

The city's Bureau of Sanitation has long handled trash collection from single-family residences, but commercial and multi-unit residential property owners were permitted to hire any private waste hauling company.

Garcetti said he repeatedly heard from residents that they wanted the ability to recycle at apartment buildings or at offices.

"Well, now you can," he said.

The franchise program could affect as many as 45 private waste-hauling companies that would be required to bid for the opportunity to operate in the city. It will also force the companies to adhere to environmental and worker safety regulations imposed by the city.

Requests for bids from the companies are expected to be released in June, Garcetti said.

Backers of the new system say it will increase recycling and help the city meet a goal of diverting 90 percent of trash from landfills by 2025. It would also result in fewer truck trips and improve worker safety, supporters said.

Garcetti said the overhauled process will bring commercial trash hauling, which he said has "zero requirements" under city law, more in line with the city's residential model, noting that the recycling rate is "just 19 percent" at businesses and apartments.

Residential trash collection has resulted in more than 75 percent of waste being recycled, putting the city seven years ahead of a state requirement, and is  "done with a fleet of clean trucks to clean up our air and a workforce that is well-paid and protected that can support its families," he said.

"But out there, on the streets, it was the wild, wild west," he said. "Those buildings in our city would contract with private companies that offered inconsistent rates, and paid their workers, many times, minimum wage. This meant that multiple trucks from multiple companies would often be on the same city block, beating up our roads and polluting our air, causing us a lot of traffic."

Opponents of the new system, however, have argued it will put smaller companies out of business and potentially drive up the cost of trash collection.

L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce President Gary Toebben said earlier this month the exclusive franchise system would "create a costly bureaucracy, raise trash collection rates as much as 40 percent, potentially shut down 140 small family owned businesses and eliminate thousands of high paying jobs."

Councilman Jose Huizar, who spearheaded the effort with Councilman Paul Koretz to create the system, said the mayor's signing of the ordinance follows "three years of analysis, debate, and numerous hearings" in council committees

He said he looks forward to implementation of a system "that will increase recycling, reduce truck pollution and ensure top-notch customer service for all Angelenos."

Allan April 17, 2014 at 09:11 AM
Not really Scott. The mafia has standards
Don April 17, 2014 at 09:16 AM
Mayor Garcetti: So how does this benefit the pocket books and service to the citizens of Los Angeles? I feel lied to during the political campaign on how you were going to represent us, Angelenos. NOw you're also going to increase parking enforcement personnel and raise parking ticket fees. Yes, this and trash seems like a ruse bestowed on the people of Los Angeles I say a Proposition needs to be implemented, two. One overturning the trash franchising and taking trash away from City services The second: Reduce all parking fines to no more than $20 and restrict the parking enforcement group Its a start to getting our City back
Don April 17, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Hey San Fernando Valleyites. Secession sounds pretty good again doesn't it
Kathy Hughes April 17, 2014 at 11:24 AM
So, I want to know how many of you live in apt buildings? There is 0 recycling going on there. I think having the separate bins its a great idea-you do remember the reason for recycling, our planet right? I have no idea if the way its being proposed its the best way, but its better than no way at all. Try thinking of the global picture
Allan April 17, 2014 at 11:27 AM
Yes, I do remember the reason for recycling. To give a leg up to the homeless and the illegals going through the bins.

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