Trash piles up in Athens garbage and recycle bins. Photo: Sam Catanzaro.

Brentwood frustrated by Athens garbage hauling.

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By Sam Catanzaro

In July 2016, the City of Los Angeles awarded an exclusive contract to Athens Services to provide trash hauling services to multi-family residential and commercial buildings in Brentwood. Nearly two years later, local stakeholders are expressing frustration over a range of issues with Athens’ service.

On February 13, the Brentwood Community Council (BCC) discussed issues relating to Athens’ trash hauling, sending a letter to local lawmakers detailing their complaints.

According to the letter, after the Athens-City contract began, the rate of Los Angeles County Health Department waste-related violations increased in Brentwood by 71 percent. 90 percent of these violations involved properties located south of Montana Avenue. In its letter, the BCC links this uptick to a rate increase levied on Athens costumers.

“The increase in Health Department violations occurred simultaneously with Athens price increase of up to 300 percent for commercial and multi-family residential buildings for trash hauling services. The extreme price increase discouraged businesses and property owners from increasing trash bins and hauling services when required or encouraged…resulting in Health Code violations related to overloaded bins, rodents and ‘cast off’ garbage littering in Brentwood alleys and carports,” reads the letter.

In addition, the BCC letter states that Athens does not pick-up garbage that is adjacent to bins but not placed inside the bin because the container is full. This, combined with waste that is left by Athens on the ground after the bins are lifted into the hauling truck has been “the source of rodents, insects and foul odors.”

Another issue raised in the letter was that when Athens places notices with information regarding trash collection on bins, the notes often fall off and are so small that they go unnoticed.

To address these concerns, the letter requests Los Angeles City Council District 11, the Sanitation Department and Public Works Commission to direct Athens to employ mitigation measures.

“To cure past garbage-related issues, Athens shall provide one additional black garbage bin and one additional blue recycle bin at no charge to all multi-family residential or commercial buildings in Brentwood…which had two or more refuse-related violations,” the letter requests.

In addition, the BCC is requesting Athens to partner with the Los Angeles County Department of Health to obtain garbage-related citation records in Brentwood and offer those costumers additional bins at a 75 percent discount with the goal of reducing citations by over 50 percent over the next year.

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