- A report penned by City Senior livability advisor Mark A. Thomas outlines the issues facing Los Angeles as trash piles up in alleys and neighborhoods.
- The report places blame on the community, including residents and businesses, for disposing of waste, and on the city for its failure to enforce anti-dumping laws.
- The city spends more than $12 million per year to collect abandoned furniture, e-waste, and other items. But it hasn’t been able to tackle the mounting problem.
These findings were gleaned through interviews with residents, staff at City Hall, business owners, various city agencies, and quality-of-life advocates. Some neighborhood associations have banded together to clean up debris, while other communities have launched complaints against the city, questioning why more hasn’t been done to tackle the mess.
There are no clear numbers as to the volume of debris being dumped. Organized cleanups in South L.A. yielded as much as 100 tons of waste from just one alley. A community non-profit reports that it collects six tons of trash daily in the downtown Fashion District alone.
One problem is that communities, both residential and commercial, have no formal waste collection services. In fact, only 35% of streets are regularly cleaned. One potential solution discussed in the report is to create a task force to formulate and carry out a management plan.
That's already in the works, in part. In November, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted to adopt a plan for waste management, the focus of which was reducing the county’s dependence on landfills. The “Roadmap to a Sustainable Waste Management Future” does address C&D waste and household electronic waste, but doesn’t touch upon illegal dumping or disposing of furniture and other bulky materials.