West Hollywood wants to own your trash.
In a proposal set to be unveiled at Monday’s City Council meeting, the city is aiming to prohibit residents and businesses from hauling off their own solid waste, recyclables or construction debris (a practice which they call “self-hauling”), handing our “authorized franchisee” a virtual monopoly on waste management in WeHo.
As of now, only an authorized franchisee of the city (i.e. Athens) can collect solid waste, recyclables, organic waste, or construction and demolition debris in West Hollywood, as per Section 15.44.010 of the Municipal Code. However, Chapter 15.40 allows certain exemptions for specific individuals and entities, such as residential householders, gardeners, and some commercial and industrial business owners. This permits them to act as “self-haulers,” individuals or entities engaged in salvaging which they create or bring into the city.
The catch lies in Section 15.40.040, which states that anyone aiming to self-haul must first secure a self-haul permit from the city. They would then need to adhere to procedures for self-hauling defined by the City Council. However, since the introduction of this provision in 2021, no such procedures have been established by the Council. This oversight has resulted in unregulated self-hauling, the city says.
City Hall claims such unregulated activities detract from their endeavors to meet waste diversion targets and ensure proper waste separation. As a countermeasure, City Hall is recommending a complete prohibition on self-hauling, which will guarantee that waste from such properties will be managed either by the city’s franchise waste hauler or by other properly regulated methods.
The amendment, they say, would also save the costs associated with creating and enforcing regulations for self-hauling, as mentioned in Section 15.40.040, and would eliminate the need to manage the self-haul permit program. This proposed change also aligns with SB 1383, which mandates all single-family residential customers to utilize franchise waste hauling services. Residents will not bear any additional costs due to this change, as they are already obliged to pay for franchise waste services.
The city claims this proposal is a step forward in streamlining waste management practices and ensuring that West Hollywood remains efficient in its waste disposal efforts.
But of course, the real reason behind this solution in search of a problem is money.
All that garbage, debris and recyclable material we throw out is extremely valuable to the city’s franchise waste hauling service, and any that escapes their trucks is revenue lost. For residents, it’s another overreach by WeHo bureaucrats intent on regulating our lives as much as they can get away with. Unlike many in our unhoused community, WeHo residents and workers don’t need the city to tell them how to manage their waste properly.