New trash fee to fund roving garbage trucks

first_imgBy the end of the year, roving trash trucks will begin cruising the streets of Los Angeles looking for the mattresses, couches, desks and other junk dumped at the curb by residents. Under a new program approved by the City Council on Wednesday, apartment dwellers and landlords will each pay half of a $1.28 per unit monthly bulky item pickup fee. The fee will raise more than $8 million a year, which covers the expense of new Bureau of Sanitation trash trucks and 25 more drivers to respond to discarded furniture calls and make regular sweeps of neighborhoods with a lot of dumping problems. “It’s tough to raise rates, but this will affect a true quality-of-life issue,” said Councilman Tom LaBonge, who proposed the program three years ago. “This is something that will change Los Angeles.” Now, single-family homes and small apartment complexes served by the Bureau of Sanitation pay for bulky item pickup through their trash bill. But larger apartment complexes hire private haulers, who don’t collect furniture or they charge extra for the service. As a result, some apartment residents – particularly those moving out – leave their furniture on the curb. Sometimes bulky items sit for weeks until a neighbor calls the city’s 311 line to request a pickup. Sarah Fanciullo of Panorama City said people often dump mattresses and sofas in an empty lot next to her house. “It looks like we don’t care,” she said. “It makes our street look trashy.” Councilwoman Wendy Greuel said dumped furniture is one of the top complaints she hears from constituents. “We all know the areas where people dump things and there are days of the month where people move out and there’s a higher propensity to dump things,” she said. And bulky items have a magnetic effect as well. “You start with a couch, and if you don’t pick it up in a week or so, pretty soon there’s a fridge there, and a desk,” Councilman Tony Cardenas said. “Out of all the furniture dumped, you could make a whole apartment unit.” The city will hold public hearings in the coming months before enacting the new fee. The program should take effect Oct. 1, and tenants will see a 64-cent charge on their Department of Water and Power bill. Landlords will cover the other 64 cent-per-unit monthly charge. In the meantime, residents can report the discarded bulky items by calling 311. [email protected] (213) 978-0390 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img