The franchise waste hauling system that goes into effect on July 1 in Los Angeles will expand recycling opportunities to thousands of businesses and apartment buildings, officials said Monday.

City officials gathered at an apartment building downtown to promote the benefits of the “recycLA” program, which they said will result in landfill diversion rates reaching a landmark 90 percent by 2025.

Recycling is currently only automatically available to single-family homes in the city.

“Our landfills are too full. Our streets are too trashed. Our air is too thick. By expanding city recycling opportunities to all commercial and multi-family buildings, we are going to tackle those challenges and more,” City Councilman Curren Price said.

The recycLA system — which was previously called the Zero Waste LA system —  will have seven companies handle an estimated $3.5 billion in commercial waste hauling in Los Angeles. Each of the companies will be assigned as the sole trash hauler for commercial sites and multi-family complexes in one or more of the city’s 11 zones.

The City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti initially approved the program in 2014, and the council signed off on the seven contractors in December.

While promoting the new system, the city has said it will make rates farer for customers.  It was found that rates varied widely and even sometimes were different for businesses on the same block due to the multitude of hauling companies working in the same area.

In earning a 10-year contract with the city, the waste hauling companies had to meet specific environmental and employment standards. The goal of the system is to increase recycling, reduce air pollution from truck traffic and increase environmentally friendly job opportunities.

“Los Angeles Sanitation and the city of Los Angeles continue to champion environmental and climate change efforts, and we are excited to implement recycLA throughout the city,” said Department of Public Works Commissioner Heather Repenning.

“Now, as our national leadership is dropping the ball, it is more vital than ever that the city of Los Angeles step up to the plate and lead by example in the global fight against climate change,” she said.

–City News Service

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