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Athens Trash Services Overview

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Starting on July 1, 2017, Residential, Multi-Family, and Commercial Trash Rates Increase by 4.32% Based on State Mandate 

Our current solid waste services agreement with Athens Services takes into account annual mandated State of California minimum wage increases, along with Consumer Price Index related cost impacts.  To that end, effective July 1 of each year, Athens Services is authorized to increase rates by no more than 5% after a thorough review by the City.  

Based on the City's review of Athens Services rate adjustment request, the cost for solid waste services will increase by approximately 4.32% beginning July 1, 2017.  The actual dollar cost impacts are projected as follows: 

  • For residential customers who utilize the standard 90-gallon trash, green waste and recycling services will increase by $1.24/moth.  The total on the bill will change from $28.79/month to $30.03/month.  
  •  For Commercial customers who utilize the 3-yard bin for solid waste services, service will increase by $7.13/month.  The total on the bill will change from $165.11/month to $172.24/month.  

Any Athens Services customer can meet with City Staff to have a 1-on-1 Solid Waste Services Optimization Meeting to explore possible ways of saving money on your trash/recycling services bill.  

Questions or Concerns? 

For those with questions or concerns regarding this matter, or to set up a 1-on-1 meeting to review your bill, please contact Alex Tachiki, Management Analyst, at (626) 932-5553, or by sending him an email


New Contract with Athens Approved on June 21, 2016 

On June 21, 2016, the City approved a new franchise agreement with Athens Services to serve as Monrovia’s exclusive provider of trash and recycling services Citywide.

As part of the new agreements, the City worked with Athens to develop updated service levels to comply with a variety of State regulatory requirements that were driven by AB 1826, which requires that all municipalities develop an organic waste diversion program for commercial businesses and multi-family dwellings with 5 or more units.

  • AB 1826 Overview

    AB 1826 was signed by Governor Brown in October 2014 and requires that by 2020, organic waste must be reduced by 50% of the level of disposal during 2014. Organic waste refers to food waste, green waste, landscape / pruning waste, wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste, and was developed based on the directives of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. That legislation identified that reducing the amount of organic waste sent to landfills and increasing the production of compost and mulch were important requirements, because organic waste in landfills served as a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Based on the requirements of AB 1826, the City has coordinated with Athens to develop a comprehensive closed loop organics recycling program in Monrovia. It is also important to note that as we developed that program, we also had to take into account the provisions of AB 1594.
  • AB 1594 Overview

    The State currently mandates that all cities divert 50% of their trash away from landfills. This means that if an individual customer has 100 pounds of trash to dispose of each month, only 50 pounds of that trash can be sent to the landfill, while the remaining 50 pounds of that trash must be diverted to a recycling facility.

    Currently, we can use the green waste collected in the green residential trash barrels to assist with meeting our 50% diversion rate. However, pursuant to AB 1594, beginning in 2020, the State will no longer allow green waste to be used for meeting our mandated 50% diversion rate. In addition, AB 1594 requires that the City in 2017 provide the State with a report that outlines how we intend to continue meeting our 50% diversion rate in light of the AB 1594 requirement that green waste not be used towards calculating our diversion rate levels.


Closed Loop Organics Recycling Program Developed - Compost and Mulch will be Made Available to Monrovia Residents at No Extra Charge

Given the requirements of AB 1826 and AB 1594, the City worked with Athens to develop a closed loop organics recycling program. The program involves taking all of the organic waste generated by commercial and multi-family properties and mixing in all of the green waste collected from residential properties. All of that organic material will then be turned into compost and mulch, which will then be provided to Monrovia residents at no extra charge at two different compost / mulch give-away events that will be organized each year. This means that residents should continue to use the green trash barrel for disposing of any green waste materials.

Ultimately, this closed loop organics recycling program will provide residents with access on an annual basis to as much compost / mulch material as they may need, and the City will in the coming months distribute additional information regarding these programs.

Furthermore, given the high fire danger in the hillsides, the closed loop organics recycling program also involves a fire danger zone brush clearance program that Athens is coordinating. Pursuant to the program, Athens will annually provide brush clearance hauling services for the high fire zone areas of Monrovia (between May 1 – June 30 every year) at no additional cost. The green waste collected from the brush clearance program will be added to the closed loop organics recycling program to be converted into compost and mulch for Monrovia residents. This program has the added community-wide benefit of reducing fire risk in our foothill neighborhoods.

When taken together, the closed loop organics recycling program will not only help the City to remain in compliance with AB 1826 and AB 1594, but will also provide an environmentally responsible way of utilizing the organic material collected to produce compost and mulch that can be used by Monrovia residents.


New Costs Associated with the Closed Loop Organics Recycling Program

Recently, Athens distributed new bills that reflect increased trash service costs, given the implementation of the closed loop organics recycling program. None of us likes to pay more for any services, however, given the new State recycling mandates, the City worked with Athens to try and develop a program that balances compliance with achieving additional value and benefit for our customers.

To that end, your new updated trash bill includes a new monthly service charge, identified as “Cal AB 1826 Organic Charge.” That particular cost is being assessed to pay for the closed loop organics recycling program. The specific program costs for different customer classifications include the following:

Residential Customers 

  • The monthly residential customer cost for the new organics recycling program is $3.75 / month.
  • However, please note that Athens bills residential customers on a quarterly basis, and therefore, the charge reflected on residential customer bills is for three (3) months of service at $3.75 / month, for a total of $11.25.
  • Outside of the new charge for the organics program, the new monthly cost for trash services for the typical residential customer includes a base monthly cost increase of $1.24 / month to take into account the new California minimum wage cost and required CPI cost adjustments.
  • In total, this means that the monthly cost for the typical 90-gallon trash barrel service is $28.79 / month.
  • For comparative purposes, costs for the same residential trash service from around the region are as follows: 
    • Azusa: $25.44
    • Bell Gardens: $25.92
    • Monterey Park: $26.99
    • Glendora: $28.76
    • Monrovia $28.79
    • Covina: $29.30
    • Irwindale: $29.66
    • West Covina: $29.72
    • Sierra Madre: $32.10
    • Temple City: $33.51
    • San Gabriel: $34.37
    • Palos Verdes Estates: $35.49
    • San Marino: $42.04
  • As the above cost overview illustrates, even with the new organics program implemented, we still have one of the lowest residential trash service costs in the area

Commercial Customers (Non-Old Town) 

  • The monthly cost for the new organics recycling program for commercial customers is $21.91 / month.
  • Outside of the new charge for the organics program, the monthly cost for trash services for the typical commercial customer includes a base monthly cost increase of $9.69 / month to take into account the new California minimum wage cost and required CPI cost adjustments.
  • In total, this means that the monthly cost for the typical 3-yard bin that requires pick-up once per week is $167.94 / month.
  • For comparative purposes, costs for the same level of service from around the region are as follows:
    • Sierra Madre: $154.80
    • West Hollywood: $161.66
    • Covina: $163.51
    • Monterey Park: $164.68
    • Monrovia: $167.94
    • Glendora: $169.34
    • West Covina: $183.13
    • Temple City: $199.99
    • San Gabriel: $202.82
    • South El Monte: $210.98
    • Irwindale: $221.20
  • As the above cost overview illustrates, even with the new organics program implemented, Monrovia still has one of the lower commercial trash service costs in the area.

Commercial Customers 

  • The monthly cost for the new organics recycling program for Old Town commercial customers is $21.91 / month.
  • Outside of the new charge for the organics program, the new monthly cost for trash services for the typical Old Town commercial customer includes a base monthly cost increase of $9.69 / month to take into account the new California minimum wage cost and required CPI cost adjustments.
  • In total, this means that the monthly cost increase for the typical 3-yard bin will be $31.60 / month.
  • Due to the special situations associated with the Old Town commercial trash customers, including shared services and a higher volume of users with organic waste, City staff and Athens staff are working to correct several billing issues that have popped up during the implementation process.
  • To that end, anyone who experiences a problem with their bill is being asked to please provide a copy of their previous billing statement and the current billing statement so that we can work with businesses on the transition.
  • In addition, given the new service levels, Athens staff will be working with individual customers to customize their services to ensure the most economical trash solution, including use of commercial bins (at a different cost) or new organics barrel (at no additional cost).

Multi-Family

  • The monthly cost for the new organics recycling program for multi-family customers is $21.54 / month.
  • Outside of the new charge for the organics program, the new monthly cost for trash services for the typical multi-family customer includes a base monthly cost increase of $6.99 / month to take into account the new California minimum wage cost and required CPI cost adjustments.
  • In total, this means that the monthly cost for the typical 3-yard bin that requires pick-up once per week is $165.11 / month.
  • For comparative purposes, costs for the same level of service from around the region are as follows:
    • Sierra Madre: $154.80
    • West Hollywood: $161.66
    • Covina: $163.51
    • Monterey Park: $164.68
    • Monrovia: $165.11
    • Glendora: $169.34
    • West Covina: $183.13
    • Temple City: $199.99
    • San Gabriel: $202.82
    • South El Monte: $210.98
    • Irwindale: $221.20
  • As the above cost overview illustrates, even with the new organics program implemented, we still have one of the lower multi-family trash service costs in the area.


Other Considerations Regarding the Contract with Athens 

In addition to the residential organics recycling mulch / compost that will be provided to residents, the contract with Athens also includes additional provisions that we believe add value for Monrovia. An overview of those provisions includes the following:

  • Future trash service rate adjustment controls
    • Any future rate increases requested by Athens will be subject to City oversight and review.
    • Any requested increase of more than 5% specifically requires City Council review and approval, and can be denied by the City Council.
  • Athens will provide the City with unlimited abandoned bulky item pick-up services
    • The City receives many complaints regarding abandoned bulky items located throughout the City.
    • The new contract with Athens allows the City to make unlimited requests to pick-up bulky items / trash that are left on the side of the street.
    • This means that if you see any bulky items left on the street (couches, mattresses, furniture, etc.), please call the City’s Public Works Division at (626) 932-5575, and we’ll take care of it.
  • The new agreement allows the City to control the cost for street sweeping services, which are also provided by Athens.

The City has posted a variety of information related to the changes involving our trash and recycling services with Athens below, including:

  • New service level overview sheets for each trash service customer classification
  • The new contract with Athens implementing these trash and recycling provisions
  • New commercial customer trash service rate sheet
  • New residential & multi-family customer trash service rate sheet


 Supporting Documents & Links