“Outstanding service. They were extremely careful delivering the extra large container into our driveway.” -- A. L. GARNER
Times notes that they seem rather surprised at how things have turned out:Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who represents neighborhoods from Echo Park to Hollywood, said he had received assurances that RecycLA would improve the "customer experience" for landlords, business owners and condominium complexes."I feel I was sold a bill of goods," he said before Tuesday's meeting.There is an entire field of study, called "economics," that could have shown O'Farrell that this was going to happen. The city deliberately reduced the supply of trash companies, but the demand for their services did not change. This allowed companies both to jack up prices and to provide lackluster services without having to worry about the customers turning to competitors.Reason's Los Angeles office is among the many places struggling with their new trash companies. It charges an extra fee to haul our trash because we keep our dumpster locked up. (Our previous hauler had no problems getting access.) We've had to call and complain about missed pick-ups. We even had to send the company pictures of our dumpster to prove no one had picked up our trash.Los Angeles city leaders were forewarned about all of this. I analyzed this plan way back in July 2014, after it was approved but before it was implemented. I warned back then it was going to drive up trash rates, and I wasn't the only one.City Council members now are saying they may trash the contracts of some of these hauling companies if they don't step up their game, improve service, and cut back on the fees. But the RecycLA program had extremely expensive, front-loaded demands for trash companies to participate. It took years for all of this to actually be implemented, and in the process a bunch of small haulers were put out of business entirely. It's not like the city can just simply hand over responsibility to cover thousands of commercial and residential customers with a snap of a finger.
Kuehl noted that 110 municipalities across the Golden State, including Pasadena, Calabasas, Hermosa Beach and West Hollywood, adopted ordinances prohibiting or restricting polystyrene containers and other ware. She said since the county last studied the issue, there are new technologies and products that are environmentally friendly, biodegradable and cost-effective.But while members of organizations such as Heal the Bay, the Surfrider Foundation, and a local chapter of the Sierra Club all applauded the county’s efforts, representatives of other organizations such as Valley Industry Commerce Association, BizFed, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and the California Grocers Association spoke out against the idea, saying that there were too many misconceptions about polystyrene.Adena Tessler, a spokeswoman for the California Restaurant Association, asked the board to take into consideration what a proposed ban would mean to small family owned restaurants. “Family restaurants in L.A. County are currently struggling to adjust to the minimum wage hike,” she said, adding that new products out there won’t reduce landfill waste.Anne Nguyen, with the Dart Container Corporation, said the company hires 650 Californians and a ban would threaten employment. The company, she said wants to work to improve its products, but the alternatives to polystyrene can’t be recycled. AdvertisementPolystyrene, some who spoke out noted, is only recyclable if there is no food waste on it. Manhattan Beach Mayor David Lesser said family owned restaurants had adjusted fine and found alternatives when his city adopted a ban in 2013.“Nearly 90 percent of our merchants are in compliance,” David Lesser. “It’s viewed as a success.”Hahn said she wanted the feasibility study to include voices from business owners as well, but she has noticed the plastic waste along the coastal areas of her district.“ I have many beaches in the district I represent,” she said. “A lot of this (polystyrene) ends up in our beaches and threatens are beautiful ecosystems.”County departments are expected to present a feasibility study in 120 days.Kuehl also introduced a motion that members of the Board also passed that looks into whether all new construction, building additions or major roof replacements in the unincorporated areas of the county can use “cool roof” materials to help manage heat that is both absorbed inside the structures and in the atmosphere. The City of Los Angeles passed a ... (LA Daily News)