According to data compiled by the Bureau of Sanitation and provided to the Los Angeles Times, RecycLA has been seeing significant month-to-month increases in garbage pickup complaints. RecycLA, the city’s new recycling program, has seen 28,000 reports filed of missed collections since July by commercial trash customers. The program gives seven companies the exclusive right to pick up trash and recycling at about 70,000 businesses, large apartment buildings and condominium complexes. The program was meant to boost recycling, take high-polluting trash trucks off the road, and improve conditions of refuse workers. Landlord Larry Rubenstein, who owns eight apartment buildings in Los Angeles, stated,
With all the time they took to design this, they were completely unprepared. It was a disaster. If I did this with my buildings, I wouldn’t have any tenants.
Some customers are also furious that their trash bills have soared, because some of them are being charged extra when haulers have to do things such as open locked gates or pull bins longer distances to the curb. Refuse company executives have been at odds with sanitation officials over how trash bills are calculated since city inspectors identified hundreds of inaccurate charges. To try and remedy the high volume of missed collection complaints, haulers will face financial penalties starting Feb. 1 if they fail to address missed collections within the proper time frame. According to the Bureau of Sanitation, two of the seven haulers (Waste Management and Republic Services) have been responsible for nearly two-thirds of the missed collection complaints. It is important to note that city officials have acknowledged that their complaint data are imprecise, because it includes anyone who called the city’s sanitation hotline about a missed collection. Hopefully, the RecycLA issues can be solved in a timely manner so that people do not continue to have the same issues.