Letter: ‘Pay for Use’ Results in Less Use

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Following up on Chris Moore’s April 19 LTE, “Stop the No-Bid Trash Racket,” in which he summarizes how, relative to other cities, Laguna property owners are vastly over-charged for Waste Management’s (WM) services; I would also highlight how WM’s non-differentiated residential charges fail to encourage sound environmental practices. Whether your household utilizes the petite, medium, large or jumbo waste containers for trash, recycling and yard waste, your household is charged the same annual fee. In essence, a household generating a small amount of trash per year is charged the same amount as one generating twice or three times as much, as long as you utilize at most, one of each type of waste container.  In an era when the “reduce, reuse and recycle” philosophy is critical to conserving natural resources and when our landfills are rapidly reaching capacity, the WM “all you can eat” approach isn’t sustainable.

Other localities utilize a “pay for use” approach to waste collection which encourages reducing the amount of garbage each household generates. Beyond their excessive existing fees for waste collection services, WM’s lazy approach to managing the services at an operational level are strong reasons for the city to open our waste collection services to an open bid. I urge Lagunans who support sound environmental practices and who object to WM’s monopoly to attend the June 4 City Council meeting to have their voices heard.


Michael Morris, Laguna Beach


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  1. On average our household (2 occupants) recycles one petite container every other week, and one green waste (pine needles) per month. We practice reuse, we compost and shred green waste. On trash day I’m astonished how much garbage LB households place curbside. If all residents reduced trash, any waste management vendor could serve us better at lower cost. See The Story of Stuff https://storyofstuff.org/


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