“Think of us as your environmental agency,” said Enrique Zaldivar, P.E., General Manager and Executive Director of LA Sanitation, explaining the City’s new effort, known as “RecycLA,” to provide recycling and waste collection services to 80,000 commercial and multifamily accounts in Los Angeles…many of which Zaldivar said have never before had the chance to recycle.
“There are three large, simple yet powerful goals driving the program, explained Zaldivar in an interview last week with the Buzz.
First, he said, move the City away from the practice of landfilling, and ultimately cease putting trash in landfills altogether.
Second, strive for cleaner air in the collection of trash. Zaldivar explained that the City has stopped using diesel trucks, and though this program waste haulers will be required to use only clean-fuel burning trucks.
And finally, reduce traffic congestion by streamlining the collection of trash and avoid multiple trucks driving up and down the same block at the same time, creating traffic congestion often at the worst times of day. By concentrating the work under a single operator, the City can bring greater efficiency for a single operator and eliminate the multiple trucks, explained Zaldivar.
At the heart of RecycLA (the preferred pronunciation is rē CIC lā) is a new public private partnership between the City and waste hauling companies, which will now be assigned to a specific zone to offer regulated and customer friendly waste and recycling services to all commercial and industrial businesses, institutions, and large multifamily buildings.
“We bring customer access and customer service 24-7 to the business community and multi-family community, who previously didn’t know how they could access information about services,” said Zaldivar. “RecycLA will bring accountable and transparency to this sector.”
The program is rolling out over the next six months across the City. There are 11 zones that will be covered by 7 designated contractors knows as FSPs, short for franchise service providers. The program is expected to be fully implemented by the spring of next year.
The process begins with a notification letter from the City to all the customers explaining the new program and identifying the FSP. Based on the service map, our neighborhoods are likely to be serviced by Republic (covering subzone 4) or Athens (servicing subzone 5).
The FSP is charged with engaging each landlord or property manager, explaining how it the program will work for multifamily buildings, anything with five or more units. In addition, they will meeting with local business, conduct a waste assessment and encourage business owner to look at their waste stream and reduce trash and direct to recycling. They even have a food recovery program option. All recycLA Service Providers are required to partner with a food rescue organization that can coordinate the collection of food donations.
Based on the level of service, the RSP sends an estimate and enrolls the customer in the new program. The city program will take over the current contracts transitioning all the contracts to the new FSP.
The program is already in place in West LA. Letters for subzone 4 will be going out this month. December 1 is the target date for the service to officially roll over to the new program.
Zaldivar estimates the new program will cover over 80,000 businesses and multifamily buildings that have been using unregulated private haulers. Many businesses didn’t even have trash collection, and were simply putting their trash in city bins, and weren’t able to recycle anything unless their building owners were providing the services. After eight years in the making, the program will soon be rolled out across the city.
“The public can contact us at LA Sanitation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if they have a problem, just call 1-800-773-2489 for any trash issue,” said Zaldivar.