Universal Waste Systems Inc.  - Los Alamitos Waste Hauler

UWS truck

Waste Hauler Universal Waste Systems Inc. (UWS) is now serving Los Alamitos Residents and Businesses

Los Alamitos residents and businesses began receiving waste hauling services from the City's new solid waster service provider on January 1, 2022. UWS provides waste hauling services to customers in California, Arizona and New Mexico, with six operating facilities, transfer stations and over 500 employees that service Orange County, Los Angeles County, and Riverside County. The Los Alamitos City Council unanimously approved the new waste hauling franchise agreement with UWS on December 6, 2021.

Residential Service

Residential trash pickup is on Thursdays.

Features and Benefits of the New Contract 

The new agreement puts the City on the cutting edge of modern and best practices for franchise agreements. It provides for numerous community benefits:

For Residential Customers

- Contract holds rates down to current levels for two years 
- Collection program provided for social waste, recyclables, green waste and 
   organic waste  
- Bulky item services including two (2) free pick-ups per year (up to 4 items), per 
- Free holiday tree collection
- Free residential sharps collection (provides for the safe disposal of needles for 
   residents managing health issues) 
- Free quarterly household hazardous waste collection 
- Discounted pricing for senior citizens and cost for roll-out services

Why Do We Need A New Contract? 

In response to a national crisis in landfill capacity, and broad acceptance of the strategy known as reduced, reuse recycle - environmentally sound landfilling and transformation as the desired approach to solid waste management, California passed Assembly Bill 939 and 1989. This legislation mandated an integrated framework for program implementation, solid waste planning, and solid waste facility and landfill compliance. 

Since then, California cities have had to respond effectively to increasingly rigorous solid waste management strategies, diversion goals, and regulatory requirements. 

The program complexities, with which the City of Los Alamitos must comply, have increased exponentially within the last 25 years. Reflecting the realities of this complex service delivery environment is the fact that the new contract with UWS for solid waste services is 116 pages long.

Why Now? 

The City of Los Alamitos' existing trash hauling franchise agreement expired on December 31, 2021. In anticipation of its expiration, the City Council convened months in advance, to consider its options for addressing the expiration of this contract. Council Members ultimately decided that the best approach would be the direct negotiation of a new franchise agreement with prospective haulers. Those negotiations took place during the second half of 2021. The negotiations resulted in a proposed contract for solid waste handing services with waste hauler UWS. The proposed franchise agreement was considered by the Los Alamitos City Council at two properly noticed special meetings held on October 11, 2021 and December 6, 2021. 

Additional Information 

Welcome Packet from UWS: The information presented in this pamphlet should answer any questions you may have. To view, click here

More About the Disposal of Trash 

FAQs trash containers

Recyclables only

Mixed Solid Waste and Organics Green Waste


Senate Bill (SB) 1383

In September 2016, Governor Edmund Brown Jr. set methane emissions reduction targets for California (SB 1383 Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP). The target must: (1) reduce organic waste disposal 75% by 2024, and (2) rescue for people to eat at least 20% of currently disposed surplus food by 2025. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's):

Do the regulations require single-family residences and multifamily complexes to subscribe to organics collection and recycle both green waste and food waste beginning January 1, 2022? 
Yes, the regulations require jurisdictions to provide organic waste collection services to all single-family and multifamily residences of all sizes and businesses that generate organic waste 
Can residents provide their own containers for organics collection? 
Jurisdictions or its designee (like a hauler) must provide containers to the generator. Containers provided by the residents themselves would not comply with the regulations. Providing a container is an inextricable part of providing a collection service. Requirements for local jurisdictions to collect and recover organic waste from their residential and commercial generators are critical for the state's efforts to keep organic waste out of the landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Further, jurisdictions are in a position to obtain uniform collection containers with standardized colors for specialized suppliers, whereas individual generators are not. If jurisdictions are not required to provide compliant containers, generators are left to comply with the color requirements on their own and may have a difficult time obtaining standardize containers due to the whims of market availability of properly colored containers through hardware stores, supply stores, or other business that have no obligations to stock compliant container colors. This sets up an untenable, large-scale regulatory noncompliance problem. 

The requirement for jurisdictional provision of collection containers is also necessary from an efficient enforcement perspective. Placing the compliance responsibility on generators would create an unnecessary burdensome enforcement model. Ensuring container color compliance would necessitate inspections of generators by the jurisdiction, potentially involving thousands of homes or businesses. Furthermore, potentially broad numbers of individual generators may be subject to enforcement if compliant containers are not reasonably available for purchase (see preceding paragraph). Instead of this burdensome model, CalRecycle finds that a single for of enforcement with the jurisdiction is more efficient and equitable. Jurisdictions are in a position to obtain uniform collection containers with standardize colors from specialized suppliers where individual generators are not. 

Assembly Bill (AB) 1826

In October 2014 the California Governor signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1826, requiring businesses to recycle their organic waste on and after April 1, 2016, depending on the amount of waste they generate per week. This law also requires that on and after January 1, 2016, local jurisdictions across the state implement an organic waste recycling program to divert organic waste generated by businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units (please note, however, that multifamily dwellings are not required to have a food waste diversion program).

Organic waste (also referred to as organics throughout this resource) means food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste. This law phases in the mandatory recycling of commercial organics over time, while also offering an exemption process for rural counties. In particular, the minimum threshold of organic waste generation by businesses decreases over time, which means an increasingly greater proportion of the commercial sector will be required to comply.

Assembly Bill (AB) 341

State legislation made recycling mandatory for certain businesses and apartment buildings beginning July 1, 2012. All businesses that produce 4 cubic yards or more of trash per week and multi-family properties of five units or more (such as apartment buildings) are required to recycle. 

Make sure your business has arranged for recycling services. If you are a Property Manager or Business Manager and would like to sign up for recycling service, contact UWS at 562-941-4900.

Cal Recycle - https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/

        - Click here to view CalRecycle's SB 1383 Presentation slides 
- Click here to review CalRecycle's Frequently Asked Questions about SB 1383

City - SB 1383 Workshop