Update / Follow-up on the news : NEWPORT BEACH : 14 Trash Haulers Get City Contracts

After months of debate over whether the city should require commercial waste haulers to franchise with the city, 14 companies have been granted nonexclusive contracts.

The city studied the systems used by five other municipalities--San Jose, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, Long Beach and Torrance--to seek ways to monitor trash collection effectively, reduce traffic and increase revenue.

Over the objections of Mayor John W. Hedges, who said he prefers unrestricted competition, the City Council voted to sign a uniform agreement with each waste hauler. The 10-year pact imposes a franchise fee based on the haulers' income from operating in the city.

Half of 1% of the city's fee will be used for a recycling program.

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