Southern California breaking news and trends

LA City Council backs exclusive system for commercial trash haulers

Mercer 7034

David McNew/Getty Images

The L.A. City Council has endorsed a new system for collecting trash from apartment buildings and commercial properties.

A proposal to change how private haulers collect garbage at businesses and apartment buildings was endorsed Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council.

In an 11-3 vote, the council backed the idea of an “exclusive franchise” system, which would carve up the city into 11 zones, each served by one trash company. It hasn't been determined whether a company can operate in more than one zone. Public Works will now have 90 days to develop an implementation plan. 

The system could be phased in as early as next year for apartment buildings, but not until 2017 for commercial properties. The city currently issues permits to about 45 companies that collect trash from apartment and commercial buildings.

Under the new system, the City of Los Angeles can require haulers to operate clean fuel vehicles, meet recycling goals, and pay workers a living wage. The city would also be responsible for setting rates. Councilman Eric Garcetti argued that the new system will have various benefits.