An Environmentally Friendly Zero Waste Franchise System

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As the new Chair of the Environment & Energy Committee of the City Council, I was proud to lead the way to final passage of a new franchise system in the City of Los Angeles.

First introduced by Councilmembers Jose Huizar and Paul Koretz in 2010, the policy was a long time coming.  This new Franchise System was championed by both workers and environmental leaders.  It will divide the City up into 11 exclusive franchise zones for waste hauling from commercial and apartment buildings.

This new policy is good for the City for many reasons.  Among the most important is that it’ll have a tremendous environmental impact.  Currently, every building can use a different waste hauler, meaning there might be many large garbage trucks barreling up and down city streets.  Now, with these haulers assigned specific geographical boundaries, we’ll greatly decrease the number of trucks on our roads.  The system also calls for all garbage trucks to be clean fuel vehicles.  Fewer trucks, and cleaner trucks is good for everyone in Los Angeles. 

There is a huge impact for environmental justice communities like Sun Valley as well, because this new system will require all waste processing plants to be enclosed, so that neighbors are better protected from the noise, smell and sight of these unattractive neighbors.

Additionally, under this new system, every resident and business in Los Angeles will now have the opportunity to utilize recycling bins.  Previously, many people in apartment buildings and businesses didn’t have recycling options, but they all will going forward.

Another big benefit is for workers.  Often times the people who work at these waste hauling stations are also the people who live nearby.  Through the work on my committee, we were able to include provisions that really help workers.  Not only will there be a local hiring obligation, but also there will be good opportunities for promotion and advancement for workers in this industry.  We also added provisions that will ensure that the waste haulers will be adding more women and minority owned sub-contractors to their teams.  It is important to me that people most impacted by this industry also have the most opportunity to benefit from it as well.  

City customers (single family residences and multi-family buildings with four or less units) will continue to be serviced through LA Sanitation, just like now.  But this new system will help lead Los Angeles to our goal of keeping 90% of our waste out of landfills by 2025.