Trash barrels headed for dump

La Cañada's waste haulers prepare to make switch to wheeled bins emptied by automation.

October 07, 2010|By Megan O'Neil,

Traditional garbage barrels are headed for the dump as La Cañada Flintridge's two solid-waste haulers proceed with plans to convert to wheeled collection bins and environmentally friendly trucks.

Allied Waste Services and Athens Services will deliver new waste bins to customers starting Dec. 6, but educational efforts already are underway. On Sept. 16, the haulers hosted a public workshop at City Hall to inform residents about the changes. A second workshop is scheduled for Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. All customers are asked to make their preferences for cart sizes known to their trash hauler by Nov. 1.

"We believe that this is an enhancement for people," said David Davis, a solid-waste consultant who works with the city. "[The bins] are easier to handle. There is reduced spillage and less odor because they have hinged lids that fit tight, so they keep the dogs out and the odors in. And your neighborhood will look a little neater on collection day."


La Cañadans already dispose of recyclable materials in wheeled bins, but continue to use traditional garbage barrels for refuse and green waste. Last year, as service contracts with Allied Waste Services and Athens Services were set to expire, the city appointed a solid-waste subcommittee to assess solid-waste services.

Among the subcommittee's priorities was to explore the possibility of shifting to an exclusive contract with a single hauler. A survey of 300 residents, however, showed that most preferred to choose between two options.

"Of the people we asked, most of the people preferred to have multiple haulers," Davis said. "Each of the haulers got really high marks as far as customer satisfaction. When asked specifically about their haulers, 93% of the people in the case of both haulers said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the service provided by their hauler."

In November, city-council members voted to renew contracts with both haulers and began negotiations to improve services. The new wheeled bins, which come in 32-, 64- and 96-gallon sizes, will increase diversion of green waste and recycling, reducing the amount of material headed for the landfill, Davis said.

Customers can have their old trash barrels removed by their solid-waste hauler. Costs for waste services, approximately $30 per household per month, will remain mostly flat, Davis said.

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