This article was posted on Sunday, Jul 01, 2018

Dear Mayor Eric Garcetti:

I’m reaching out to you for any assistance you can provide in improving the relationship between garbage collection companies and Los Angeles property owners.  The Apartment Association of California, (AOA), has reached out to them to resolve these issues; however, it seems the garbage collection companies are taking advantage on their position as the sole service provider in our communities. 

Since we do not have the option to switch companies, I’m hoping YOU can represent us in this matter.  In my case, I am having issues wit the company Athens.  There is another service provider just two blocks from my building, but unfortunately, they are unable to provide service to me because they are limited to a single area.

Please consider a short meeting with me to discuss the following issues we are facing with the garbage collection companies:

  • Excessive fee increase
  • Excessive fees and penalties
  • Traffic safety issues
  • Property security issues

Excessive Fee Increase

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The fees have suddenly increased dramatically.  Here is the increase:
Previously: $135.36 per month for collections twice per week
Currently:  $494 per month for collection ONCE per week
Increase:  $850.64 per month for collections twice per week

There is a 638% increase for comparable service.  How is this justified?  This is extremely excessive and unwarranted.


Excessive Fees and Penalties

They have added additional fees and penalties further increasing our costs.  These are two affecting us now: 

Open Lid Penalty:  They now charge $50 to $100 for each bin with a lid that is not completely closed!  This is extremely excessive as it applies to bins with lids that are not completely closed – even a bin with a slight opening of an inch results in a penalty.  It’s hard to understand why a bin with a slightly open lid would cost them more to collect and why the penalty is so high.

Opening Gates:   Most properties place their garbage and recycle bins in secured parking lots.  Opening gates has never been an issue and it seems this additional fee is just an attempt to increase their revenue without providing any additional service.

Traffic Safety Issues

Previously, the garbage trucks would stop in front of the building and collect the garbage in a single stop. Now, a pick-up arrives hours before the garbage truck and pulls the large dumpster out to the street.  In my case, they are leaving the dumpster in the red zone completely blocking traffic on the right lane on Crenshaw which only has two lanes.  This happens twice a week every week during high traffic hours.  Who will be liable if an accident occurs due to this issue?

Property Security Issues

As a result of this new change in collection process, they leave the gates open for hours between the times the first truck pulls the dumpster to the street and the garbage collection truck arrives.  This obviously creates a serious security issue.  The gate is there to prevent potential threats from easily accessing our tenants and their vehicles and their safety is our highest priority.

Empty Promises – Help!

I, personally, reached out to Athens to resolve these issues but I was given empty promises and ultimately I was mistreated and ignored.  I spoke with the supervisor Ms. Angela, who assured me some of these issues would be resolved.  When I called to follow-up on these issues after they recurred, I was place on hold and finally hung up on.  I have no intention of making an enemy of a company that provides a valuable service to my business so this mistreatment is truly unfortunate.

These are serious issues and these companies should be held accountable.  It is understandable if their fees increase due to rising costs, but these recent changes are excessive.  Please support us and help us reach an agreement with the garbage collection companies that is reasonable for all parties involved.  Our ultimate goal is to provide the best service possible to our tenants and resolution on these issues will help us achieve that goal.

I am the owner of some apartments located in Koreatown and a former representative to the Iraqi-American community (with over 2,000 members) here in Los Angeles.  I have been conducting business in Los Angeles for over 40 years.  I am proud to be a citizen of this great city and I respect your tireless effort to put forth to make Los Angeles great.