Residents and businesses alike will see their trash collection bill go up in July as the West Hollywood City Council unanimously approved rate hikes during its Monday night meeting.
The residential rate will increase by $1.43 per month, climbing from $19.24 per month to $20.66 per month. That represents a yearly increase of $17.15 for residential customers.
The rate for commercial customers will rise $3.10 per month, going from the current $171.27 to $174.37. That represents a yearly increase of $37.20 for commercial businesses.
Athens Services, which has the city contract for trash collection, imposes an annual cost of living increase to all its customers. This year, that cost of living adjustment is 1.81%.
Residential customers are also paying a 6.64% increase to cover the costs of complying with a new state bill which says green waste can no longer count as material diverted from landfills. AB 1594 took effect on January 1, 2020, but only impacts residential customers. Commercial customers are not affected by AB 1594.
Based in the City of Industry, Athens Services has been the city’s solid waste and recycling contractor since 2004. It also is a major donor to the election campaigns of City Council members and was a funder of the Gay Mens Chorus of Los Angeles, which Councilmember John Duran long chaired. Athens donated $5,000 to Equality California, the LGBT rights advocate, the request of Councilmember John Heilman according to state documents that must be filed by elected leaders who ask for donations to non-profits they support.
In 2014, the city signed a 15-year contract with Athens for trash services. One of the provisions of that contract states that Athens must divert at least 50% of the waste it collects from landfills in the first five years of the contract. During the second five years of the contract, which is currently in effect, Athens must divert at least 60% of the waste from landfills.
The Council approved the item without any discussion. Likewise, during the public comment period, no one spoke for or against the increase. However, the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles did send a letter opposing the increase.