Waste Management waves goodbye to Laguna

Photo courtesy of Bobbi Straus

Neighbors Bobbi Straus and Bob Hartman say goodbye to Hugo at Waste Management. For 30 years, Hugo has been their hauler on Ceanothus Drive.

Laguna Beach City Council officially voted CR&R as the city’s new refuse hauler on July 12, 2023 and the change went into effect on July 1. CR&R will replace the residents’ Waste Management containers within city limits until Oct. 4.

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  1. Hugo was “El Mejor Basurero,” best trash hauler ever!
    A 52 year resident, I only met him in person when I first moved into the lower Vic neighborhood 17 years ago.
    We spoke in Spanish, he seemed to light up at that type of exchange.
    He loved my street Spanish, having grown up in/adjacent to barrios in the LA Harbor area, I got to roll out the slang I learned from first generation Mexicano friends (Chicanos).
    I was never condescending, never spoke down to him, but thanked him profusely—think of what these people do, the familial sacrifices they make getting up so early, the stench of the messes they haul away, a task 99% of us wouldn’t even consider.
    Then add the abusers, some of them my neighbors who either didn’t position the bins conveniently, not to mention way way way over-filled and depositing on the street, inconsiderate and entitled—forcing Hugo to get out of his truck.
    Hope I don’t get him in trouble, but twice/year I gave him a liter of really fine tequila, in appreciation, which he always accepted humbly, graciously.
    Adios y vayas con Dios, mi amigo, “arrato vato” (catch you later dude).
    Your “medio cholo” hermano,


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