- Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced the placement of 1,250 new public trash bins around Los Angeles, part of a goal to place 5,000 by 2019, as reported by Canyon News.
- The city plans to add an additional 1,250 bins next month, which will put them halfway to the overall goal ahead of schedule. The bins can be picked up with automated loader trucks.
- This is part of the Clean Streets program — announced in April 2015 — which also includes an open data platform to rate street cleanliness, additional cleaning crews and community-based projects.
Garcetti focused on waste issues during his time in the Los Angeles City Council and has continued to roll out new plans since he became mayor in 2013. Through the Clean Streets program, Bureau of Sanitation employees conduct quarterly inspections of cleanliness conditions and send out crews accordingly. Illegal dumping has been a challenge in the city for years and response to these conditions has been slower for low-income neighborhoods in the past.
This progress comes as the city works toward implementing a new commercial waste franchise system this summer. The idea originated years ago when Garcetti was council president and will be one of the largest local market shifts that the waste industry has seen in years. Though daily street conditions are an even more visible issue for constituents, so the Clean Streets progress may be an equally important achievement for Garcetti to tout during his current re-election campaign.
The factors behind littering and illegal dumping are complex, but regularly unclean street conditions may compound the problem. Staying on top of trouble spots and responding promptly may help mitigate future issues and save Los Angeles money in the process. Other cities have experimented with similar open data approaches and Philadelphia recently announced a pilot litter index program as part of its new "zero waste" plan.