Trash Talk 101: Everything You Need to Know About Your New Waste Collection Service

Vickie Wippel, community relations manager with Waste Management, and Anna Luke, public works management analyst for the city, answered these questions about the city’s new trash service that took effect on Wednesday, June 1, 2011. Waste Management, the city’s previous waste hauler, was awarded the contract on March 2 at a city council meeting. 

Cart-sized fee information is available online.

Manhattan Beach Patch: The city’s new contract for waste collection services with Waste Management began on Wednesday, June 1. What do you think is the most important things residents need to know?

Waste Management: Customers should know that there are many new programs and solutions to help them safely and conveniently recycle and dispose of their waste. Residents should have recently received a “Welcome Packet” in the mail outlining all of the new programs and can find more details on our new website,

MB Patch: What residents received new trash carts? Should everyone have received a brand new trash cart even if they opted to keep the size they were using before June 1?

WM: All Sand Section customers have received their new carts. Approximately 50 percent of Sand Section residents responded on time to the cart selection survey. Those that did not received the default size 64-gallon trash and recycling carts. Since May 1, WM has switched out approximately 700 cart sizes in the Sand Section; most of these were for residents who did not respond to the survey on time, or for those that wanted a different size from what they originally ordered.

Most Non-Sand Section residents kept their current carts, although a few dozen moved to the smaller cart size. Those who did not request new carts are re-using their current carts in the new contract.

MB Patch: What should residents do with their old WM trash carts if they’ve received new ones?

WM: WM has collected most carts that residents no longer want. For those who haven’t had their old WM cans collected, it will occur on a regular collection day. Residents should have received yellow “TAKE ME” stickers in a package delivered with the new carts. Place the “TAKE ME” stickers on the carts that need removal. Any resident who does not have the TAKE ME stickers can just write “TAKE ME” on a sheet of paper and adhere it to the cans set out for removal.  All cans placed for removal must be empty. 

Some residents kept their old personal containers for creative re-use (such as storage, earthquake kits, etc).

MB Patch: Who should residents call or e-mail if they have a question about their new service?

WM: Phone: 310-830-7100; E-mail: or visit the web at

MB Patch: Is the entire city now using “carts” with wheels and an attached lid for single family and multi-family cart service?

WM: Yes.

MB Patch: If a customer wants a new or different size cart, can they get one? How?

WM: By contacting WM customer service by phone or e-mail. Phone: 310-830-7100; E-mail:

MB Patch: If I live in a multi-family complex, what is new or different about how my waste is collected and what should I be doing to properly discard of waste?

WM: Other than the switch from a “can” to a “wheeled cart,” there are no operational changes that multi-family residents need to adhere to. What will be changing is the level of outreach for multi-family residents. Waste Management and the city will be rolling out a comprehensive recycling program for all multi-family residents, including personalized outreach, training, and tools upon request. WM will reach out to all multi-family residents and owners by fall 2011 with program details.

MB Patch: Is there a map that shows what days of the week waste collection services take place for the areas within the city?

WM: Yes, it is attached. Service dates have not changed. 

MB Patch: What time should I have my trash cans out by on my collection day to ensure they are picked up?

WM: Carts should be placed outside by 7 a.m.

MB Patch: What can I do if I set out my cart(s) after the collection truck(s) have already passed? 

WM: Call WM customer service at 310-830-7100 to schedule a pick-up.

MB Patch:  What can I do if I had a party at my house, my trash cart is overflowing, and it’s not my regularly scheduled pickup day?

WM: Single-family residents can either wait for their regularly scheduled collection day, or can contact WM customer service to schedule an extra trash pick up on a non-collection day for a fee. 

MB Patch: I’m a single-family property owner. What if I set out an overflowing trash cart on my regularly scheduled collection day?  Is there a penalty?

WM: Beginning June 1, 2011, all single-family residents are on a tiered rate structure for trash collection (recycling and green waste is free). Single-family residents pay based on the size and quantity of their gray trash carts. The first few months of the new contract are a grace period, as property owners determine the right size of trash carts needed for weekly collection. After the grace period is over, single-family residents will have four total weeks of “unlimited trash” on collection day. The “unlimited trash” weeks are as follows: the two collection weeks following December 25 and two additional weeks of the resident’s choice. 

If overflowing trash is consistently present at a property on the weekly collection day (and all the “unlimited trash” days have been used), the homeowner will be charged a $5 overage fee. The homeowner will be asked to increase their cart size or quantity of carts and encouraged to recycle more. 

MB Patch: How should my carts be positioned for pickup? On the street next to the curb, on the sidewalk…?

WM: Cart placement is a challenge for some areas of the city. Typically, placement at the curb is best. Our drivers and route managers will continue to find customized solutions for customers who are not able to place their carts at the curb. If any property owner would like to meet with the route manager to discuss a different location for cart placement, contact WM customer service to schedule the visit.

MB Patch: Will you pick up electronic waste?  I have some an old laptop and an old TV that need to be discarded. How do I make arrangements for you to pick up my e-waste?

WM: Laptops, TVs and other electronic equipment, if in usable condition, should be donated for re-use. If they are not in re-usable condition, WM can pick up these items for free through our bulky item collection program. Single and multi-family residents simply call WM to schedule a collection.

MB Patch: I have some small AAA batteries that need to be discarded. Will you pick those up? What do I do?

WM: There are containers for the proper discarding of household batteries only.  No other material can be placed for collection in the container. The battery containers listed below will be available until the new door-to-door hazardous waste program begins. When that program begins, residents will be able to have their batteries and other hazardous waste collected from their doorstep by appointment. For now, here are the battery container locations and hours:

  • City Hall lobby: Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Joslyn Community Center lobby (1601 N. Valley Drive): Monday–Thursday from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Public Works Yard lobby (3621 Bell Avenue): M-F from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Public Safety Building main lobby (420 15th Street, aka police station): 24/7 access

MB Patch: I have some liquid chemicals that need to be discarded? How do I arrange for you to pick them up?

WM: For now, residents can take all household hazardous waste to the SAFE Collection Drop-Off Center at the Hyperion Treatment Plant. It’s free to all Los Angeles County residents. Hours of operation are Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, 7660 W. Imperial Hwy, Gate “B,” Playa del Rey (Directions: Drive north on Highland Avenue. Highland becomes Vista del Mar. Turn right on Imperial Highway. Gate B is the first driveway on the right. 

WM will begin a door-to-door Household Hazardous Waste program soon. 

MB Patch: Are there any extra fees for picking up e-waste or household hazardous chemicals?

WM: E-waste is picked up for free as part of the Bulky Item pickup program.  There are no additional fees to take HHW to the SAFE collection center at Hyperion.

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