Four Long Beach, California, City Council members will join Don’t Waste Long Beach, a coalition of environmental, community and worker rights organizations that says it is committed to lifting environmental and safety standards in Long Beach’s commercial waste and recycling industry, to express support for changing Long Beach’s commercial waste system and issuing a five-year notice to local waste haulers.
The notice will allow city leaders to explore options for transforming Long Beach’s commercial waste system and adopt an exclusive franchise system in the future.
Long Beach is one of the few cities in California of its size that does not have a local zero waste goal, according to Don’t Waste Long Beach. The recycling rate in the city’s commercial sector is less than 20 percent. Coalition members say they believe the implementation of an exclusive franchise system in Long Beach would improve the environment, boost recycling rates, reduce street traffic, mitigate air and noise pollution and add more job opportunities for Long Beach families.
Currently, 10 trash haulers are permitted to work in the city of Long Beach under a nonexclusive franchise system in which they compete with one another citywide to offer service. The overhaul supported by Don’t Waste Long Beach would make the franchise system more exclusive.
In 2014, the nearby city of Los Angeles approved an exclusive franchise zone system, known as Zero Waste LA, for trash hauling and recycling. In December, the city awarded $3.5 billion worth of contracts to seven trash-hauling companies that will cover one or more of 11 zones in the city. The system was supported by the Don’t Waste LA Coalition.
Zero Waste LA is designed to address the limitations of the existing hauler permit system, which includes the inability to meet city landfill reduction goals and to comply with state mandating recycling requirements, the lack of requirements for haulers too operate clean fuel vehicles, inefficient vehicle routing and insufficient material processing Infrastructure, according to Don’t Waste LA.
Don’t Waste Long Beach will gather May 23, 2017, at 4 p.m. at Long Beach City Hall, 333 Ocean Blvd. The group will be joined by Vice Mayor Rex Richardson; council members Lena Gonzalez, Dee Andrews and Roberto Uranga; Director of Don’t Waste Long Beach Coalition Robert Nothoff; Natural Resources Defense Council’s David Petit, Long Beach Food Finders’ Diana Lara; Long Beach Gray Panthers’ Karen Reaside; and Long Beach waste worker Maurice Thomas.