- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation to address more than 41,000 cleanup requests, some dating to 2010, mainly from poor neighborhoods. The order follows an internal investigation of the Sanitation Bureau, prompted by findings of The Los Angeles Times, which showed there was no response to more than one-third of requests to remove refuse from low-income neighborhoods for five years.
- Crews have since found illegally dumped trash at about 22% of the outstanding request locations and cleaned them up this fall, according to public works spokeswoman Elena Stern. According to The Los Angeles Times, sanitation officials suggested some service requests that were not recorded were handled properly and they blamed the lack of documentation on a problematic rollout of a new computer service tracking system.
- The agency is now required to publish data on the city’s website on response times and volume of waste removed from sidewalks and alleys. Garcetti also is expecting the agency to work with the city to improve its service tracking system.
There have been questions raised in scattered regions about whether certain low-income neighborhoods are targeted as illegal dumping grounds, and about the disproportionate lack of environmental controls in those neighborhoods. Florida and Washington, DC are a few among sites where there has been ongoing contention.
"I am disappointed to learn that, despite our efforts to directly address inequities, service response times are unacceptable in parts of the city where the demand for service is highest," said Mayor Garcetti in August. "Whether it is a breakdown in technology or a backlog from years of neglect, we must do better."