Residents of La Cañada Flintridge can choose the company that hauls their trash, but in doing so, they might be choosing higher prices. Even with Athens Services and Allied Waste Services competing, and new hauler NASA soon to be offering its services as well, La Cañada residents are paying more than Altadena residents.
The Los Angeles County Public Works Department on Sept. 1 entered its new exclusive contract for service in unincorporated Altadena with Athens, which charges $54 a quarter for basic three-can service, compared to quarterly prices of $89.68 for Allied and $91.11 for Athens in La Cañada. La Cañada’s contracts with Athens and Allied were renewed at the end of 2010 and expire in 2014.
Thor Schmidt, general manager of Athens Services, said that many factors affect pricing, from geography and distance from their facilities to what types of waste are most common. However, Schmidt said that in the case of the new Altadena contract, its length — 10 years — and exclusivity meant Athens could amortize the costs of new trucks, which are required to be run on compressed natural gas, and new cans.