New trash hauler to host community forum

The city’s new trash collection hauler will host an informative forum this week.

CR&R Environmental Services is holding a town hall meeting on Thursday (June 20) from 6-7:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers, located at 505 Forest Ave., to inform and answer any questions Laguna Beach customers will have. A second meeting will be held on Saturday (June 22) from 10-11:30 a.m., also in council chambers.

Topics that are slated for discussion include company background, services CR&R offers and the container exchange process.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Sara Hall

A CR&R truck picks up trash bins in a Newport Beach neighborhood

After decades of the same company providing trash collection services to Laguna Beach, a split council awarded a contract to a new vendor, CR&R, on July 11, 2023.

Councilmembers voted 3-2, with Alex Rounaghi and Mark Orgill dissenting, and approved the city’s solid waste franchise agreement to CR&R for the collection, transportation, processing and division of recyclable materials, food scraps, yard trimmings, construction, transportation and disposal of municipal solid waste. The new service will start on July 1, 2024 and continue for eight years.

The action came after Waste Management of Orange County has serviced the city for several decades. Most of the discussion revolved around WM’s contract management issues over the years and the numerous exceptions to the agreement that the company requested. Although councilmembers and residents praised the current drivers and shared stories and positive feedback about the reliable and high-quality service they’ve received. A majority of council agreed that the issue is not the drivers, but the management of the contract, the lack of attention to administering the contract and a declining level of service.

According to a city webpage dedicated to the transition, CR&R and city staff have consistently participated in planning meetings over the last several months.

“Throughout this transitional phase, the city recognizes the importance of transparency and effective communication. Together with CR&R, we are committed to delivering quality waste management services to our community,” the website explains.

In the June 13 community newsletter, the city reminded residents that CR&R will begin citywide collection service and residential cart exchanges July 1. The company will exchange customers’ current landfill, recycling and organics carts for new CR&R carts. The cart exchange will take place on the regular collection days. Customers need to place their carts out by 6 a.m. and CR&R will pick-up and exchange the carts. There is no additional cost to the customer for the new carts.

The new carts will comply with California Senate Bill 1383, which is aimed at reducing short-lived climate pollutants in the state, according to a video to locals from CR&R.

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Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Laguna.


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