The Los Angeles City Council voted this afternoon to overhaul how trash and recycling is collected at businesses and apartment buildings in the city.
Commercial and multifamily waste and recycling collection in Los Angeles will be broken into 11 franchise districts with an exclusive private hauler servicing each area, under a proposal moved forward by the council.
The City Council voted to move forward with the plan after more than two hours of discussion today. Its implementation will be slow, with a committee report due back to the City Council within 90 days on the proposed rules for the franchise agreements. The districts must be bid out individually, and that process will take time because of various reporting requirements, city officials said.
Andrea Alarcon, president of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, said the exclusive franchise agreements would be 10-year contracts with two five-year renewal options with mandatory mid-term assessments and annual service reviews.
Among the proposals would be mandatory clean fleet vehicles and mandated diversion and recycling programs.
Currently the city picks up waste and recycling for residents and a number of private haulers collect for commercial and multifamily properties. Those businesses and apartments can independently contract for service.
Various business associations spoke out against the measure, including the Los Angeles County Disposal Association, which argued the city shouldn't set up the exclusive franchise districts, and that non-exclusive franchise agreement could achieve the same goals without potentially putting smaller haulers out of business.
"There was some talk that there were hundreds of haulers and we would be putting hundreds of haulers out of businesses, but that's not true," Alarcon said in response.
There are 45 haulers permitted to collect commercial or multifamily waste in the city, with only 26 collecting more than 1,000 tons of waste annually, she said.
Among the proposed ideas for smaller haulers would include a provision to allow subcontracting or a specific district designed for the smaller haulers.