An assortment of extra fees, all backed by Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council as part of RecycLA, has many residents in Los Angeles outraged. Businesses, landlords and condominium owners are voicing alarm over the additional charges being imposed under RecycLA, an environmental initiative championed by Garcetti that is aimed at diverting trash from landfills, putting environmentally friendly trash trucks on the street and creating safer conditions for refuse workers. The price of the new program is based on the frequency of pickup, the number of refuse bins and the size of those containers. However, companies are also allowed to charge extra to open a locked gate with a keypad or to move trash bins more than 100 feet or 200 feet. El Sereno resident Scott Toland, who is an unhappy customer of L.A.’s new refuse and recycling program, stated:
No other trash company has ever charged us to open the gate or drive down the driveway, ever. So I think that’s outrageous.
The costs for many are going to double under the refuse and recycling new program. The city council awarded seven companies the exclusive right to haul away refuse in specific sections of the city; the 10-year contracts are valued at $3.5 billion. The program covers an estimated 80,000 customers and is expected to generate $15.6 million this year for the city’s general fund, which pays for basic services. Sanitation officials contend that many customers will be able to scale back their trash bills once they have a consultation with their designated refuse hauler. Joe Matz, the L.A. area district manager for Universal Waste Systems, said in an email that the extra charges were negotiated with city officials and an industry consulting firm, and that they represent “the true cost to provide collection services.” Hopefully, something can be worked out because the renters are the ones that are going to have to pay more to live on Los Angeles.