Councilmember Bonin: Concerning issues with the city’s “recycLA” program

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Dear Friends,

You deserve better than this.

A few weeks ago, I emailed you asking if you were having problems with the new trash service in Los Angeles, and hundreds of business and apartment owners like you responded with helpful feedback. Today, thanks to your help and the invaluable information you provided, I took action to address some of the most glaring and concerning issues with the city’s “recycLA” program.

As you know, earlier this year, the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation launched an ambitious new program, recycLA, designed to dramatically increase recycling, move Los Angeles toward its zero waste goals, ensure fair pricing, improve service, and enhance working conditions. Since the initial rollout of recycLA program, however, I have heard from small business owners, landlords, and homeowner association leaders who have serious concerns regarding sudden and sharply increased costs, confusing new fees and surcharges and inaccurate bills. Your concerns also include frequent and repeated lack of service, lack of notice and widespread poor customer service from the waste haulers.

The issues causing these concerns are unacceptable, and today, my colleague Mitch O’Farrell and I proposed legislation to address the failings of the recycLA roll-out. Our legislation instructs the Bureau of Sanitation to immediately provide a report to the City Council with recommendations to reduce or eliminate extra service charges being levied on small businesses and apartment owners, and to allow apartment owners to share collection bins to help reduce the cost of service. Our legislation additionally demands a plan for further outreach to customers to inform them about the new waste hauling system and of the options available to reduce costs by increasing recycling, and asks for the City Attorney and Board of Public Works to prepare options that allow the city to assess penalties on waste haulers that fail to provide a reasonable level of service to customers. A full copy of the legislation can be found at www.11thdistrict.com/recycla_improvements_legislation_introduced.

The goals of the recycLA program – reaching zero waste in Los Angeles and protecting the workers we rely on for this essential service – are imperative, but the poor rollout and implementation of this program is simply unacceptable. The City needs to take immediate steps to fix it or we’ll never achieve the worthy goals of the program.

I am sincerely grateful for those of you who shared your experiences and frustrations with me and my team, so we could craft legislation that directly addresses the issues you have seen since the program began.

Thank you very much for your participation and for all that you do to make neighborhoods on the Westside great places to live, work and enjoy. It is an honor to serve you and I greatly appreciate your partnership.

Regards,

MIKE BONIN
Councilmember, 11th District

From Councilman Mike Bonin's office RE: RecycLA
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