Why L.A. created an exclusive franchise system for cleaner trash hauling

To the editor: Your editorial captured some of the benefits of the city of Los Angeles’ new exclusive franchise recycling program: less landfill waste, cleaner trucks and franchise fees that will directly support the city’s hiring of program inspectors and customer service staff. (“In its effort to go green, L.A. created a trash monopoly that's gouging customers. They need to fix it,” editorial, Oct. 2)

But it omitted that it is precisely the exclusivity of the program that will, among other things, allow us to move away from multiple trash trucks on any single city block and all the related negative impacts. The exclusive franchise system will also contractually ensure that $200 million is invested in the infrastructure necessary for the city to meet state mandates.

Absent the certainty of long-term contracts under this new system, haulers have no incentive or business rationale for making that level of investment, which will result in fewer diesel-belching trucks in our neighborhoods and more state-of-the-art processing facilities.

At the end of the day, our commitment is to the customer. We will continue to work to ensure that this exclusive franchise program is serving residents and businesses as equitably, effectively and efficiently as intended.

Enrique C. Zaldivar, Los Angeles

The writer is director and general manager of LA Sanitation.


To the editor: Thanks for bringing to light the disastrous new waste disposal program inflicted on businesses and condominium buildings by our city leaders, no doubt influenced by pressure from self-serving business and labor groups.

I own a condominium in a four-unit building in west Los Angeles, and the monthly bill for my trash pickup has suddenly increased from $126 to $279. Because of the city’s exclusive franchise system, I have no recourse but to pay whatever the company demands.

Didn’t anyone tell Mayor Eric Garcetti that monopolies are illegal in this country?

Stephen Bulka, Los Angeles

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