Finding a Resolution to the RecycLA Mess
Posted by Councilmember Englander on February 16, 2018 at 11:28 AM
This week I introduced legislation today to establish a process for the City to exit the troubled Exclusive Waste Franchise otherwise known as RecycLA. In 2012, I voted against the establishment of the twelve exclusive franchise zones that would grant a monopoly on sanitation services to a single company within each zone because this would eliminate any potential competition that would ensure quality of service from haulers.
Unsurprisingly, RecycLA is failing to deliver the basic city service of reliable trash pickup. The waste haulers have had more than enough opportunity to work out the difficulties of the transition yet our constituents remain overcharged and underserved. There comes a time when we must recognize that the fault lies not with the service providers but with the program itself. Rather than persist in error, it's time for the City to clean up this mess.
RecycLA was purportedly established in order to move towards the City's Zero Waste Goals, improve air quality, and reduce traffic congestion. However, the program's implementation has brought disastrous challenges and shortcomings.
In the six months since the initial rollout, City Council offices have been inundated with phone calls and complaints from property managers, business owners, and residents all with concerns regarding the failures of the RecycLA program. Common complaints include confusion and frustration regarding new fees, over-charging and inaccurate billing, frequent and repeated missed pickups, and poor customer service from waste haulers. Missed collections have led to substantial health risks and citations from the LA County Department of Health. Moreover, many residents have complained of their rates skyrocketing up to 400% more than previous rates. There are currently 28,000 service complaints. For perspective, there are 80,000 accounts citywide.
The motion I filed instructs the City Attorney to report back to Council regarding the actions necessary to exit the Exclusive Waste Franchise.