Is the City of Los Angeles finally relenting to loud and persistent protests against the massive waste hauling and recycling collection fee increases instituted in 2017?

LA City’s recent announcement of fee eliminations seems to indicate a move in the right direction on a very troubling issue for commercial property owners and income property investors.

The increases, instituted midyear 2017, got a great many retail shopping center landlords hopping mad, and with good reason.

In some cases, rate increases were as high 400%. And in addition to price hikes, many property owners reported missed collections, which left their dumpsters overflowing with rancid trash.  Owners also reported being billed for waste collections that never occurred.

To quickly review, LA city government introduced the “Department of Sanitation Franchise” in 2017. This department gave exclusive domain for trash collection to seven waste hauling companies. And those companies, in turn, were assigned specific districts.

Thus, if, for example, your property is situated in District One, your ONLY trash collection option is the waste hauling company assigned to District One.

And with ZERO competition, waste hauling firms were free to jack up their rates and tack on a plethora of “extra service” fees.

But now, according to an LA Times report, a couple of these fees are being eliminated.

Following a 15-month battle between the City, waste hauling firms, and business organizations representing the interests of property owners, a “compromise” has been struck in the recent settlement deal.

The current fee eliminations include…

100 Foot Distance Fee

Under original provisions, waste haulers were allowed to charge an additional $26.68 anytime a driver had to haul a recycling bin more than 100 feet.

200 Foot Distance Fee

Also under original provisions, waste haulers were allowed to charge an additional $37.36 anytime a driver had to haul a recycling bin more than 200 feet.

Under the settlement terms, both of these fees have been eliminated.

Reimbursement

The settlement also dictates that customers who were charged “extra service” fees (on any service bill issued since February 2018) will receive a credit.

Good, But Not Great

Of course, income property owners appreciate these fee eliminations. Every little bit improves their bottom line.

But unfortunately, the settlement does nothing to address the exorbitant waste hauling rate increases. An issue that still has many property owners seething!