Residents and businesses alike will see their trash collection bill go up in July as the West Hollywood City Council unanimously approved rate hikes during its Monday night meeting.
The residential rate will increase by $1.43 per month, climbing from $19.24 per month to $20.66 per month. That represents a yearly increase of $17.15 for residential customers.
The rate for commercial customers will rise $3.10 per month, going from the current $171.27 to $174.37. That represents a yearly increase of $37.20 for commercial businesses.
Athens Services, which has the city contract for trash collection, imposes an annual cost of living increase to all its customers. This year, that cost of living adjustment is 1.81%.
Residential customers are also paying a 6.64% increase to cover the costs of complying with a new state bill which says green waste can no longer count as material diverted from landfills. AB 1594 took effect on January 1, 2020, but only impacts residential customers. Commercial customers are not affected by AB 1594.
Based in the City of Industry, Athens Services has been the city’s solid waste and recycling contractor since 2004. It also is a major donor to the election campaigns of City Council members and was a funder of the Gay Mens Chorus of Los Angeles, which Councilmember John Duran long chaired. Athens donated $5,000 to Equality California, the LGBT rights advocate, the request of Councilmember John Heilman according to state documents that must be filed by elected leaders who ask for donations to non-profits they support.
In 2014, the city signed a 15-year contract with Athens for trash services. One of the provisions of that contract states that Athens must divert at least 50% of the waste it collects from landfills in the first five years of the contract. During the second five years of the contract, which is currently in effect, Athens must divert at least 60% of the waste from landfills.
The Council approved the item without any discussion. Likewise, during the public comment period, no one spoke for or against the increase. However, the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles did send a letter opposing the increase.
Residents should actually get a rebate since Athens is SAVING money by putting recycling and yard waste in the same truck now.
When setting landfill diversion requirements, does the city council create requirements or monitoring mechanisms regarding where this diverted waste ends up. Is this potentially a case of residents paying higher rates so that developing countries can be paid to take the diverted waste, which then ends up polluting their countries and our oceans? The devil is in the details as to the extent diversion is a good thing.
Seems this would be a good topic for WeHoville to follow up with city and/or Athens.
It is time to re-negotiate with Athens. They City Council should all agree that any business that provides services to the City are prohibited from making campaign donations. It is a conflict of interest which ultimately affects Residents and businesses. Landlords of businesses and Residential buildings will pass that increase to the tenants. The cost of living increase is unfair because the pay people receive is not in line with the cost of living.