Rancho Palos Verdes City Council






Staff Coordinator: Lauren Ramezani, Sr. Administrative Analyst


Consider possible trash and recycling day changes to Westside pilot area border streets, and direct staff to implement needed changes.


In January 2005, the City Council approved a pilot 3-cart automated solid waste program in two areas of the City. This pilot program went into effect on April 25, 2005. One of the pilot areas is on the Eastside of the City, off of PVDE (including Rockinghorse Road, Colt Road, Martingale Drive, and Mustang Road, etc.), and the second is on the Westside of the City, by Soleado Elementary School (including Browndeer Lane, Longhill Drive, Silver Arrow Drive, Elkridge Drive, etc.).

The purpose of the pilot program is to obtain first hand experience and knowledge, and see if an automated collection system can work in Rancho Palos Verdes. The trucks and carts used in the pilot automated program are different than those used in a manual program. To minimize change and inconvenience to residents, the collection days, the frequency of collection and the monthly rates in the pilot areas were not changed.

In April 2005, the City of Rolling Hills Estates (RHE) changed haulers from BFI to Waste Management, and switched to an automated 3-cart program. In addition RHE changed from a twice a week pickup schedule to a once a week pickup schedule. All of RHE's trash, recycling and green waste is collected on one day, Wednesday.


PROBLEM: There are two streets, Browndeer Lane and Elkridge Drive, in the Westside pilot area with lots both in RPV and RHE. Up until six months ago (before Waste Management was awarded the RHE contract), both the RPV and the RHE sides of Browndeer were serviced twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. Eight trucks passed through (4 on Tuesday for RPV & RHE, and 4 on Friday for RPV & RHE). The number of trucks and truck traffic was a lot, but trash and recycling/green waste from both cities got picked up on the same two days and then containers were removed from the street.

Previously, Elkridge had collection on Tuesday/Friday in the RPV side (28 homes) and Wednesday/Saturday in the RHE side (7 homes). However, it seems that due to the small number of homes in RHE, and hence, few containers on the curb, the two different collection schedules did not seem to be an issue.

Now, as a result of RHE’s new contact and new collection schedule, Waste Management, as RHE’s authorized residential hauler, services one side of the two border streets on one day, and the Waste Management, as RPV’s authorized residential hauler, services the other side of the border streets on two other days.

Currently, Browndeer and Elkridge are serviced three times a week (RPV on Tuesday/Friday, and RHE on Wednesday only). Seven trucks pass through (2 on Tuesday for RPV, 3 on Wednesday for RHE, and 2 on Friday for RPV). Therefore, trucks are in the area 3 days a week, while before it was only two days a week.

Furthermore, RPV’s ordinance allows containers to be placed at the curb the day before collection, and to be removed the night of collection. In theory, containers could be left at the curb on Browndeer and Elkridge up to 4 days a week on the RPV side. Additionally, the RHE side could have containers left at the curb for one day. This results in empty or full containers at the curb for up to 5 days a week.

The border streets now have containers/carts at the curb more days per week as well as trucks on the streets more days per week. This change is negatively affecting street aesthetics and is increasing noise in the area. Residents in both RPV and RHE have expressed concerns with the number of days trucks are in the neighborhood, noise level, and the number of days carts are at the curb in their neighborhood.

There is now an opportunity for the two cities to work together to consolidate/reduce the number of trash trucks, and the number of days trash and recycling is collected in the neighborhood and carts are at the curb.

First, Waste Management is servicing both cities. Second, and most importantly, both sides of the street are serviced by the same automated trucks and automated collection method, and have similar trash and recycling carts. Automated trucks servicing RPV can easily collect RHE’s solid waste and automated trucks servicing RHE can easily collect RPV solid waste. The key issue is that collection now is taking place three times per week as opposed to two times per week.

SUB-COMMITTEE DISCUSION: On May 31, 2005 a border trash collection sub-committee was established with Councilmember Long as the Council representative. On August 9, 2005, Councilmember Long and City staff met with the City of RHE trash subcommittee and staff to discus a possible solution to the two border streets trash issues.

At first glance, the simple solution was to eliminate the Wednesday collection, and for the two streets to have collection on Tuesday (RPV and RHE) and Friday (RPV). This option was rejected because RHE was reluctant to change its Wednesday schedule to Tuesday. RHE has a new 12 year residential contract, while RPV’s pilot program is relatively short term and not permanent. RPV’s program is only good for the duration of the Waste Management contract, ending as early as June 30, 2007, with 3, possible one-year extensions thereafter.

Other possibilities were explored and discussed at the meeting.
 Change RPV to a Wednesday/Friday schedule for the two border streets.
(approximately 75 homes)
o This would solve part of the immediate problem. The carts would be on the street less often, however, trucks still have to go through those streets on Tuesdays to be able to get to the adjacent streets. Additionally, it would create two different trash, recycling and green waste schedules in the RPV Westside pilot area.

 Change RPV to a Wednesday/Friday schedule for all of the Westside.
(approximately 500 homes)
o Since trucks have to go through Browndeer to access several other streets, it was suggested that the entire Westside schedule (not just the two border streets) be changed to Wednesday/Friday. This change would put all of the Westside pilot area on the same Wednesday/Friday collection schedule. This was one of Mayor Pro Tem Long’s desired option to pursue.

 Change RPV to a Wednesday/Saturday schedule for all of the Westside streets
(approximately 500 homes)
o This would have kept the spacing between trash collection days the same. However, it would change both of RPV’s trash days, not just one. This was another of Mayor Pro Tem Long’s desired options to pursue

Another issue was the number of collections on Wednesdays. RHE has all 3 pickups (trash, green waste and recycling) on Wednesdays, while RPV has a 2/2 schedule (trash and recycling on Tuesdays, and trash and green waste on Fridays).

Therefore, to effectively reduce the pass through of trucks in the area, it was suggested that RPV keep its twice-weekly trash collection, but change the collection of the first pickup of the week to become similar to RHE;s Wednesday schedule (3 on Wednesdays and 1 on Fridays or Saturdays). This will result in RPV’s green waste day changing from Friday to Wednesday, eliminating the additional green waste truck pass through on Fridays, and making the collection schedule in the area between the two cities more uniform. On RPV’s second collection day of the week, only trash would be picked up.



Current Schedule

Proposed Schedule


Tuesday- Trash & Recycling

Friday (or Saturday)- Trash & Green Waste

Wed- Trash & Recycling & Green Waste

Friday (or Saturday)- Trash only


Wed- Trash & Recycling & Green waste

No change

FOLLOW-UP DISCUSSIONS: After the meeting, staff discussed the Wednesday/Friday and the Wednesday/Saturday choices with Waste Management. Waste Management immediately rejected the Wednesday/Saturday choices because they do not provide Saturday residential service on the hill.

Then the possibility of the Wednesday/Friday schedule for the entire Westside pilot area was discussed with Waste Management. Initially, Waste Management informed staff that this change was possible and feasible.

However, later, after further evaluation, Waste Management informed staff that to change the entire Westside to a Wednesday/Friday schedule (approximately 500 homes) was not feasible due to lack of adequate trucks and drivers, and labor union issues dealing with exceeding the number of authorized work hours in a day. Waste Management indicated they could, however, switch the two border streets (approximately 70 homes) to the Wednesday/Friday (3/1 pickup) schedule fairly easily, fast and without any problems.

Learning that, Mayor Pro Tem Long requested staff to inquire whether Waste Management would consider not only changing Browndeer and Elkridge, but also a few other streets that connect to Browndeer on the Wednesday/Friday route change. Those streets are Littlewood, Larchbluff, Elmbridge, Lone Valley and Oaklon (approximately 90 homes). The total of the 7 streets includes approximately 165 homes.

Waste Management has recently informed staff that they can accommodate that request and can make the route change on those streets within one month after customer notification is done. However, proper notification and outreach by the City will be needed and will take approximately 2-3 weeks to print and distribute the notices/fliers and/or other informational material.


There are various options to address the pilot area border streets trash issue. Waste Management has agreed to and can implement any of the options listed below.

1. Make no changes. Keep the RPV homes on the Tuesday/Friday schedule, while the RHE homes remain on the Wednesday schedule.

2. Switch only the two border streets, Browndeer and Elkridge to a Wednesday/Friday schedule with Wednesday having 3 pickups and Friday only trash (approximately 75 homes). The rest of the Westside pilot area remains on a Tuesday/Friday schedule.

3. Switch several streets (Browndeer and Elkridge, and the connecting streets of Littlewood, Larchbluff, Elmbridge, Lone Valley and Oaklon) to a Wednesday/Friday schedule with Wednesday having 3 pickups and Friday only trash (approximately 165 homes). The rest of the Westside area remains on a Tuesday/Friday schedule.

The matrix below shows the various options:






No changes - Keep Westside as is (approximately 500 homes)

o Residents were told that the pilot program would not change their collection days (see attached letter)

o Easier for residents, there is nothing new to learn or remember

o Trucks on the streets 3 days a week

o Street aesthetics- containers on the street several days a week

No action needed by Waste Management

Change two border streets only (Browndeer and Elkridge) (approximately 75 homes)

o Streets more aesthetic & fewer containers on the streets o Uniformity between all home on the two streets

o Less truck noise

o Residents were told that the pilot program would not change their collection dayso RPV side has to learn new trash, recycling and green waste dayso Some customers may not want any changeo There will still be roadway wear and tear, since trucks still have to go through on Tuesdays to service other streets in the area

o The spacing between trash collection days changes, one time of the week trash gets picked up a day later, which leaves less trash for the next pickup day

Waste Management can make the necessary route changes within 1-2 __weeks (after notification)

Change several streets in the Westside pilot area (approximately 165 homes)

o Fewer trucks in the areao Streets more aesthetic & fewer containers on the streetso Uniformity between a portion of the pilot areao Less wear and tear on the streets

o Less truck noise

o Same as above, however, a larger number of residents are affected by the changes

o Residents of the adjacent streets (90 homes) don’t have the same problem as the two other streets. They are not affected b the truck traffic, truck noise and street wear and tear of the two border streetso Residents were told that the pilot program would not change their collection days (H)

Waste Management can make the necessary route changes in one month (after notification)



Staff requests the City Council to consider the different options available to solve or reduce the border street trash issue, and direct staff to take the necessary steps to implement any changes.

Finally, there are a handful of other streets that border both cities: Indian Valley Road, Quailwood Drive, Stonecrest Road and Whitley Collins Drive. These streets are not in the RPV pilot areas. To-date no complaints have been received from these areas. Perhaps more importantly, however, a solution on these roadways is not as clear since the RPV homes are serviced manually and with regular trash cans, while the RHE homes are serviced with automated trucks and automated carts. The trucks, and the containers used for the two cities are different. If, however, the City decides to pursue automated collection throughout the entire City in the future, this issue may arise with these streets and will need to be addressed in similar fashion when routing schedules are determined.
Representatives from Waste Management will be at this Council meeting to address any questions the City Council may have.


The City will b responsible for the cost for the public education material needed to properly inform affected residents of route changes. The cost for printing, mailing/distribution of notices/fliers/brochures and staff time answering calls will be paid from the City’s Waste Reduction fund. The cost is estimated at $500-$1,000.

Respectfully submitted:

Ray Holland, Interim Director of Public Works

Reviewed by:

Les Evans, City Manager