Waste Management discusses green waste pickup changes following concerns from customers

FILE PHOTO: Waste Management collects trash and recycling bins on May 26, 2019 in Canyon Country. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

Waste Management changed its residential green waste pickup service from weekly to biweekly, leaving some Santa Clarita residents with questions as to why they are not receiving price breaks. 

The company’s schedule change became effective Dec. 14, and is expected to last through mid-January “with further information to come from Waste Management” following staffing challenges related to the coronavirus crisis, the city of Santa Clarita announced in a Dec. 10 news release. 

The schedule modification means that residential green waste customers will have their green waste carts serviced on their regular service day, but only once every two weeks, according to their location. Trash and recycling pickup schedules will not be affected, and service will continue weekly.

Among those who have raised questions to the city, which contracts with Waste Management, is Santa Clarita resident Mark Wilkins, who said he did not receive notices from the company about the adjusted schedule. 

“It may seem like a small thing when you look at it from one person’s point of view,” he said in a shared email to Councilman Jason Gibbs. “When you look at the big picture, however, it totals a lot of money.”

Waste Management has about 48,000 customers within Santa Clarita, with an average trash collection cost per customer of $23.87 a month, according to Josh Mann, a Waste Management representative, who said the changes in the schedule are not tantamount to reduced services, therefore not constituting any customer price breaks. 

“This is not a reduction in services, we are collecting the same amount of green waste material on a deferred schedule,” said Mann. “This will allow us to use the green waste route drivers to help cover open routes both for residential and multi-family customers.”

“In general, during this time period, green waste material volume drops while trash and recycling volumes will increase due to holiday-related activities. This is a temporary collection change that we will monitor until the end of January. If our staffing levels get back to normal, we will quickly switch to weekly green waste collection service,” he added.  

The city of Santa Clarita is reviewing its contract with Waste Management, according to City Communications Manager Carrie Lujan. 

The company also said it started notifying customers Dec. 10, and “will continue to send notifications during this temporary change in collection frequency.” 

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