Trying to bring fairness to trash rates for Westlake Village’s 8,200 residents, the LA County town will ask residents of developments governed by homeowners’ associations to pay a little more.
In a July 27 split vote, Westlake Village City Council approved a contract with waste hauler Waste Management for the disposal of residential and commercial waste, recyclables and organics. The 20-year agreement raises monthly rates by just over $8 over two years for the 1,061 accounts in the HOAs.
The remaining residential customers, who pay $37.47 per month for three-cart service, will see their monthly bill drop by about $8.
Why the increase in HOA?
“Because for 20 years, these seven HOAs had a unique situation. . . . They were paying a lot less than the commercial rate,” Mayor Brad Halpern said.
For the remaining residential customers, who Halpern said paid “extra fees” to essentially subsidize HOAs, the bill will go down.
“It has to happen,” he said.
The only public speaker on the subject at last week’s meeting was Rondi Guthrie, spokesperson for rival carrier Athens Services.
In March 2021, Athens won a 15-year contract with the city of Thousand Oaks, which previously used both Waste Management and Harrison Industries.
Guthrie challenged Westlake Village‘s decision not to solicit further offers.
“You don’t know if you’re getting the best rates,” she said. “You don’t know if you’re getting the best programs. You don’t know if you are getting the best services. Not sure if you’re getting the best community partner.
Council member Ned Davis said competition is good and the deal lacks balance.
“I’m in complete conflict with the pros and cons of this deal,” he said.
Davis said Waste Management, until a few months ago, had operations in Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks. The reason the company no longer has Thousand Oaks is because of competition, he said.
Council member Kelly Honig moved to approve the new agreement.
The measure passed 3-2, with Davis and Ray Pearl dissenting.