July 19, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA – Attorneys from Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos LLP filed two class actions lawsuits claiming the recycLA program created by City of Los Angeles and various waste haulers is an underhanded cash grab that places an undue financial burden on residents, small business and apartment owners.

The recycLA program was promoted to the public as being a “fair” and “transparent” program and process which would provide “improved” services. The value of the franchise agreements awarded under this program have been estimated by the City at over $3.5 billion dollars over 10 years. The City has the option to extend this program for an additional 10 years.

These two lawsuits allege that the fees charged under the recycLA program constitute an illegal tax and are otherwise unlawful, making the following claims:

  • The City secretly negotiated increased franchise fees, which are actually taxes since the putative fees bear no relation to value of the property interest presumably conveyed by the City through the franchise agreements.
  • The recycLA program eliminated all competition for disposal business in the “franchise zones.”
  • Waste haulers misrepresented cost and performance data in order to establish their seriously increased rates.
  • Waste haulers misrepresented these rates to customers, claiming the fees and rates were “required” when in reality they were the maximum rates allowed under their contracts.
  • As a result of the abuse by city officials and the waste haulers, customers experienced a 300% to 1,900% increase in month-to-month costs for waste removal.

One of the class action lawsuits is against the waste haulers which entered into the franchise agreements with the City of Los Angeles to provide waste collection services for commercial establishments and multi-family dwellings. (See complaint here.)  The other suit is against the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Department of Public Works and the Department of Sanitation which developed the recycLA scheme.

The lawsuits are:

  • Apartment Owners Association of California et al. v. City of Los Angeles et al. (Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC677423)
  • Apartment Owners Association of California et al. v. Arakelian Enterprises, Consolidated Disposal Services, Calmet Services, University Waste Systems Inc., USA Waste of California (Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC705056)

Arias, Sanguinetti, Wang & Torrijos, LLP has handled hundreds of class action cases across the country, represented millions of class participants and recovered hundreds of millions in damages. In fact, ASWT is one of the few law firms that has actually tried numerous class action cases. Taking such cases to trial is not a common occurrence with most class action attorneys. The firm does not take on a class action unless it is prepared to take it to trial.