Los Angeles Learns That “Going Green” Is Pretty Expensive, And Government Needs To Fix The Problem It Caused

Los Angeles Learns That “Going Green” Is Pretty Expensive, And Government Needs To Fix The Problem It Caused

Especially when the Helpful Hand Of Government is involved, as the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board notes

In its effort to go green, L.A. created a trash monopoly that’s gouging customers. They need to fix it

The city’s new environment-friendly, years-in-the-planning garbage pickup program has left the Los Angeles businesses and condo associations that rely on it with a severe case of sticker shock.

Back in 2014, when the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti approved the program, there was a lot of talk about the environmental benefits of the program — which are real — but little mention by city leaders that the service would cost more.

The initiative, called recycLA, switched multi-family residential buildings, restaurants, factories and other businesses from the open market, in which they could negotiate with the garbage company of their choice, to an exclusive franchise system, in which the city selects one trash hauler for that area, sets the rates and regulates the service. The city, for example, requires all the participating companies to provide recycling bins and to drive cleaner trucks.

This does not affect single family homes nor small apartment complexes (yet). Anyhow, how much more is this program for consumers who have had their choice removed?

Now recycLA customers are getting bills for the new city-controlled service, and many are finding the price of trash pickup has increased significantly. Some customers report their bills have doubled or even tripled compared to what they paid before. There have been complaints of missed pickups and scheduling problems.

The waste haulers are also allowed to impose lots of new city-sanctioned fees, including charges if the truck driver has to unlock a gate, if the hauler has to move the trash bins more than 100 feet during pickup and if the container is so full that the lid doesn’t completely close.

Under the old system, customers who felt they were getting nickel-and-dimed by their trash company could take their business elsewhere. Now? Their only recourse is to complain to the company or the city and hope for some response.

The LATEB goes on to tell us that it doesn’t have to be this way, completely missing the point that this is an issue created by government in the first place, because they rushed to “be green”, and were very aggressive about their goals control. There are massive recycling goals, which can reduce the forced costs on the users, except “the infrastructure or services to turn food scraps into compost or energy aren’t yet in Los Angeles.” The recycling monopoly companies hired by the city have to pay their people a “living wage” of at least $12.73 and purchase more “environmentally friendly” garbage trucks. And pay franchise fees which enrich the city to the tune of $35 million a year. The editorial ends with

It’s time for city leaders to be straight with Angelenos about the costs of being more environmentally responsible with our waste. There’s also the reality that the lack of competition in the exclusive franchise areas leaves customers vulnerable to being gouged. The city created these monopolies, and now it has a responsibility to police them.

Government created these problems, but, don’t expect them to fix them. They mean more money in the pockets of government and more control for government.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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