Los Angeles

Man Says City Charged Thousands for Trash Pickup That Didn't Happen

A man says the city of LA has been charging him for several years for services not rendered

A man says he's given thousands of dollars to the City of Los Angeles for monthly trash collection that never took place.

Daniel Miller owns an art gallery off Venice Boulevard, and says he's dutifully paid to have his trash collected weekly from the alley behind the building.

"[But] the city doesn't service our property," he said. "They don't pick up from our property."

According to Miller, it's an issue of space.

"Their trucks are too large to make it down our alley so they don't provide service," Miller said. "We pay every month privately to have the trash hauled away, but concurrently the city bills us, as well, so we're paying twice."

However, Miller says the city has been collecting something, having charged Miller $40 a month in garbage fees for the past three years.

The NBC 4 I-Team recorded Bureau of Sanitation trucks on collection day in Miller's neighborhood. Workers picked up trash on adjacent streets, but the I-Team never saw a garbage truck turn down Miller's alley to pick up his trash.

Miller took the city to small-claims court and won a judgment in April for $2,182, but has yet to receive a check.

City officials declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

But on an email to the I-Team, LA's Bureau of Sanitation acknowledged it will pay Miller the money he was awarded in court. The Bureau added that workers will soon start using smaller trucks to collect garbage in the alley behind the gallery, and that Miller will be billed accordingly.

Miller says his experience serves as a reminder that it's wise to examine your monthly utility bill.

"My suspicion is that there are many alleys in the city that have restricted access that the city cannot provide service to that are being billed anyway," Miller said.

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