Franchise System Overview

RecycLA, the City of Los Angeles’ new franchise system, has been designed to enable the City to achieve its zero waste goals by establishing uniform service requirements and rate schedules for all commercial businesses and multi-family  buildings of five or more units. Focused on simplifying and streamlining the recycling process, the system offers expanded recycling opportunities and rate incentives to increase the amount of recycled materials.


•   Recycling service included with all regular trash services
•   New recycling services for landscaping debris and food waste
•   Cleaned and newly painted carts and bins for all customers
•   Use of clean-burning natural gas vehicles by all franchisees
•   More efficient routing of collection vehicles
•   Enhanced customer service
•   Uniform service rates and billing procedures

Billing and Payment Policies

For all questions regarding your bills for service, please contact our customer service staff at 323-923-2825.

UWS bills for regular services monthly, in advance. Charges for any special services—such as installation of locks, temporary bin service, or container cleaning—are billed after the special services are provided. Payment is due within 15 days of the bill date. Late payments can result in late fees or interruptions in service.

Customers can arrange to receive copies of their bills by mail or email. UWS offers a secure online bill-pay system for our customers’ convenience, and the opportunity to set up regular auto-pay with a credit card.

Our customer service representatives can discuss these options, and can be reached at 323-923-2825.

Customer Service

For all customer service issues not related to billing, please contact the City of Los Angeles call center at 800-773-2489, or use the city's online service request system to file a service request.

Paying Your Bills Online

All customer bills include a code that lets you create an account in our customer portal so you can perform a variety of tasks. If you cannot find a code on your bill, please contact our customer service staff for assistance.

To begin the set-up process, use the link on the home page or click here. Enter the code from your bill to register. Once you have registered, your login information will be sent to the email address you provided.

As a registered customer, you can utilize all the functions available online, such as:

  • Reviewing current and past bills
  • Researching billing history
  • Verifying your service level and charges
  • Ordering changes to your regular service
  • Placing an order for new or temporary service

Maps of the Northeast Franchise Zone

The Northeast franchise zone has been divided into six sub zones, which will be the basis for the transition top the new franchise system.  Universal's service will begin in each of these sub zones according to this schedule:

The City of Los Angeles has created a map tool that you can use to find the sub zone in which your business or building is location.  You can also click on one of the sub zone names in the list above to see and download a detailed map of the sub zone.

Rates of Service

To provide uniform and transparent monthly rates for commercial and multi-family customers throughout the City, the City of Los Angeles has set rates for all services provided by the franchisees. The City has also implemented policies to determine how and when those rates can be adjusted. The three general rate categories are:

Monthly Rates

These rates apply to the regular weekly refuse and recycling collection services that most customers will receive, and are based on the number of containers, the size of the containers, and the number of times per week the containers are serviced (the service level). The rates in this schedule are based on the customer’s trash service level and include recycling service at the same frequency as the trash service.

For all service levels, the cost to service a second, third, or fourth bin of the same size is less than the cost of the first bin. On the rate schedule, it is identified as the "Addt'l Bins" charge. There is a 50% premium for collection services provided on a Sunday. The rates for compactor bin service (less than 8 cubic yards) include an additional charge for the increased density of the contents.

Extra Services These include installation of locks, charges for entering secured or locked areas and buildings, moving a bin or container more than 100 feet so it can be serviced by the collection vehicle, supplemental container cleaning, collection of bulky items, and administrative fees associated with returned payments, late payments, and service re-instatement.
Additional Fees These fees and charges will apply to incidences of overfilled containers, overweight containers, and contamination found in recycling (blue) containers or organics (green) containers.

Service Guidelines








To receive the maximum benefit from the services provided by UWS, please follow these guidelines:

  1. Work with our Zero Waste representatives so that they will have a complete understanding of your service needs.

  2. On collection days, please make sure your containers are not obstructed by vehicles, debris, or other objects that will prevent our drivers from servicing them. If they are in a locked enclosure, make sure our drivers have keys or the necessary code for access.

  3. Do not overfill your containers. If their size or the frequency of collection is not adequate for the amount of trash you generate, please contact our customer service staff to increase your service. You may also schedule a visit from a Zero Waste representative to determine how you can decrease trash by increasing recycling. Overfilled containers can result in a $25 fee per occurrence.

  4. Do not place hazardous materials, electronic waste, or liquids in any of your containers, since they require special handling and disposal. Please contact our customer service staff if you have questions regarding the proper disposal of such materials. Disposing certain hazardous waste with trash is prohibited by California law, and is subject to a fine of $100 per occurrence.

  5. Do not place contaminants in your recycling or organics containers. Only the materials listed in our guidelines should be placed in your recycling (blue) containers and organics (green) containers. Contamination of recyclable materials increases the cost of recovering these materials and reduces the amount that can be recovered.

Recycling Guidelines

Blue Carts and Bins

Accepted Materials

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Telephone books
  • Junk mail
  • Cereal and cracker boxes
  • Newspaper
  • Junk mail
  • Plastic containers
  • Glass containers
  • Metal cans and other metals
  • Juice boxes
  • Paper juice and milk cartons
  • Metal pots, pans, and bowls
  • Film plastic

Materials Not Accepted

  • Pizza boxes
  • Food waste (put in green cart)
  • Hazardous and electronic waste
  • Yard waste (put in green cart)
  • Landscaping debris (put in green cart)
  • Concrete and asphalt
  • Wood and lumber (put in green cart)
  • Medical waste (needles, tubing, etc.)
  • Mixed materials (metals and plastics)
  • Toys or appliances with electronics
  • Cell phones, computers, DVD players, computer monitors, and televisions

For more tips and information, watch our Zero Waste Team video.  For more information on the California Mandatory Commercial Recycling program, please visit the Department of Sanitation's website.

Green Carts and Bins

Accepted Materials

  • Food waste
  • Food-contaminated paper
  • Pizza boxes
  • Wood and lumber (not painted or stained)
  • Landscaping debris
  • Tress branches less than 4" in diameter and 4' in length

Materials Not Accepted

  • Metals
  • Rocks and dirt
  • Concrete and asphalt
  • Plastics
  • Plastic film and bags
  • Glass
  • Hazardous wastes and materials

More information of the California requirement for mandatory recycling of commercial organics is available on the Department of Sanitation website.

What are Hazardous Materials and How to Dispose of Them

Many materials that are used in our homes and businesses are hazardous and must be disposed of properly. Placing hazardous materials or used electronics in your black, blue, or green containers can damage our environment and cause injury to the people who handle and process those containers.  Examples of hazardous materials are:

  • Items containing mercury, such as batteries and thermometers
  • Fluorescent light bulbs and tubes
  • Sharps and needles
  • Radiological waste and contaminated materials
  • Paint
  • Motor oil
  • Pesticides
  • Solvents
  • Bleach
  • Electronic waste, defined any any item with a cord, internal battery, or battery compartment

The Department of Sanitation website has information on how to properly handle and dispose of these materials.