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Letters to the Editor…MORE ON THE TRASH MONOPOLY

Posted on 01. Feb, 2018 by in all

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Honorable Mayor Eric Garcetti:

As a San Fernando Valley Boy you have some ideas of the issues we face as a step-child of Los Angeles. What the city council members do affects us also, and the most recent deal to create monopolies for trash haulers has become a travesty.

I understand the desire to reduce trucks on the road, have cleaner vehicles and that did NOT have to be done by creating trash company monopolies. The federal government has laws against monopolies, but apparently that does not apply to city governments.

With the power and exclusive rights granted to trash haulers, they are taking advantage of this power. Not only have my rates gone up by 50%, but the service has declined markedly. I can no longer anticipate when they will arrive to pick up the dumpster, which creates issues for tenants when they park.

And the multi-family recycling program is completely failing. As an example our scheduled pick up was supposed to be Mondays, AND they were to pick it up from the back of the building so I supplied a remote for the gate. I gave that up years ago when it would be weeks before a truck would come by. So for two years now I have placed the blue cans in the street. For the last two months I have had to call every single week because they would not be picked up on Monday. Last week I was told the pick-up was being changed to Wednesdays.

I only find out about this because I called, but it doesn’t matter. Now they don’t pick-up on Wednesdays either, and I have to call again! AND I’m one of the lucky ones: Another apartment owner has seen his bill for a 15 unit building rise from $77 per month to $539 per month. The point is the trash systems are NOT working and neither are the city council members.

I also brought this up to Herb Wesson when he spoke at the Encino Chamber lunch. Please do what you can to fix the mess the city council created and allow trash haulers to compete for business. Isn’t that how it is supposed to work in this country? Sincerely, Rennie Gabriel

 

Honorable Mayor Garcetti and City Council Members:

I am writing a follow up email to you regarding the new trash program. This note is regarding the new pricing on the first of my eight buildings I own in the City of Los Angeles, to be transferred to your new program.

Simply put, previously (Sept 2017) for our 18 unit building in Westwood Village, we paid $151.80 a month for twice a week pickup. (519 Glenrock Ave, LA 90024)

Under your new program, in December 2017, we receive once a week pickup and pay $384.17. You can do the math, but that clearly exceeds FOUR TIMES the previous charge per pickup, or TWO TIMES the previous charge for HALF the service.

I understand your program is meant to encourage recycling to the extent there would be vastly less to pick up, no charge for the recycling, and thus OUR costs should go DOWN. What am I missing?

Moreover, and once again I emphasize, that leaving trash for pickup only once a week in an 18 unit apartment building is not consistent with hygiene and unsanitary. We will have rats and smell and trash will over-accumulate. I do wonder if Los Angeles County Health Department is involved in your structure and decision making. Perhaps they need be?

Your program must be re-visited, re-structured and re-thought through. You objectives are valid, but the delivery on these objectives could not be worse. You have taken a fairly simple situation, easily solved, and turned it into a nightmare, not only for owners, but more importantly for your constituents – and our tenants, the ones that need the trash pickup.

I trust you are having a Merry Christmas, while I am working on difficulties your policies have created.

Best of the holidays to you, Lawrence Rubenstein, Ph.D. (again, in Public Health no less)

 

Dear Mayor Garcetti:

My tenants who live on Hart Street in North Hollywood (eight hardworking families) need to have their trash picked up on time.  The shoddy, inefficient trash service rendered by Republic Services (Recycle LA) has created a terrible situation for them. For the past five months, my tenants have had to deal with missed pick-ups from one to three times per month and have had to notify me every time, together with sending multiple photos of the mess. The overflowing dumpsters produce foul odors, and invite insects and vermin. These unsanitary conditions right outside kitchen windows and bedrooms is intolerable.

For landlords like myself, this waste management debacle that was created without any input from citizens who would be affected, is a matter of inconvenience for us together with the outright misrepresentation, unethical billing, and price gouging that we have experienced. But our tenants are your constituents too, and they deserve better than this. We all need your help to address this terrible situation immediately. I am quite sure that you would not tolerate this at your own residence. As someone who often declares that he champions working families, I appeal to you to remember that this small, eight unit apartment building is theirs.  Thank you.

Though many landlords are only interested in the bottom line, some of  us actually respect our tenants, and want them to have that “peaceful enjoyment” that we all want. I believe that this would be another very compelling facet of the argument to city officials for relief.

Sincerely, Maria P.

 

Dear Mayor Garcetti and Councilman Bonin:

I own a small, one-bedroom, six unit apartment building under rent control.  I have long term tenants; some over 20 years and my tenants are loyal.  They struggle to pay the rent as most of them earn minimum wage.  They cannot afford the yearly increase so I was not increasing their rents for years – in spite of the increases in the cost of utilities.  I have compassion for these tenants and I maintain the building so they are proud of the property they call home.

I had Recology collecting the trash once a week at a cost of $106.55 per month.  I was not aware of the change made by the City and was not getting the bill from the new company, Republic, because they did not have my mailing address.  When the trash was not picked up, I called Recology and they informed me that they were not authorized to pick up the trash.  As a result, I was three months in arrears with Republic, which I had to bring current at a cost of $1,213.28 – the amount I was paying Recology for the whole year!!

Are you going to allow rent-controlled units to increase rents at 12% to compensate for the increase in the cost of trash removal?  The owner has to pass the increase in costs to the tenants.

Every action has a reaction; the arbitrary decision to take over the trash collection at gouging prices, not allowing the owner to negotiate a reasonable cost for services will cause non-required amenities, now provided by the owner, to be discontinued – things like air conditioners, security lighting, periodic renovation of units, secured parking, landscaping, providing stoves and refrigerators.  Pools and spas will be filled with dirt and pool service and landscapers will be fired.  Especially affected are the small owners who are providing affordable housing to low income families.  Los Angeles may turn into another Detroit.

If the tenants cannot afford the rent, they will have to be subsidized by Section 8 Housing or go homeless, contributing to the growing problem of homelessness.  I would like to hear from you – the decision to take over our freedom of choice is arbitrary and un-American and the new trash costs are gouging and abusive to the small apartment owners.  Sincerely, Olivia D.