In Los Angeles, a Clash Over Trash

Kate Linthicum and Jessica Garrison recount the debate over a new proposal to overhaul Los Angeles's trash collection industry, as labor and environmental groups go head-to-head with waste haulers and business interests.

Currently, over 140 companies operate the big business of waste hauling in Los Angeles. A new recommendation from a labor-allied group would reduce that number to a handful of top-bid companies assigned to 11 new franchise zones dispersed throughout the city.

According to Linthicum and Garrison, "union and environmental groups say the new system would increase recycling and ease traffic and pollution caused when hordes of heavy trucks from competing companies crisscross neighborhoods to serve scattered customers."

"But business groups and many waste haulers warn that the proposal could cost renters and businesses a bundle and say it's chiefly a union gambit to use government policy to expand membership."

City support for the restructuring is being driven, at least in part, by L.A.'s goal of diverting 90% of waste away from landfills by 2025, which will require more coordination and accountability from trash companies.

The clash over trash contracting commenced Monday at Los Angeles City Hall.

Full Story: L.A.'s trash industry gets ready to rumble

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