LOS ANGELES (CNS) – As part of a program to address illegal street dumping across Los Angeles, the city council on Wednesday took steps to double the Sanitation Bureau from the number of staff responding to calls on the issue.
What you need to know
- The council’s proposal went 14-0
- The plan will be considered during budget talks in the coming weeks for fiscal year 2022-23
- Councilman Kevin de Leon said council approval on Wednesday signified it would be included in the budget
- The Sanitation Bureau currently has nine teams of two people deployed daily to deal with illegal dumping, according to the bureau
The council’s proposal, which passed 14-0, instructs the Sanitation Bureau to expedite a plan to deal with illegal dumping, including through the employment of 61 jobs, with some of the new employees added to staff guarding city sidewalks and public areas. Clean, sanitary, safe and accessible by disposing of abandoned debris.
The plan will be considered during budget talks in the coming weeks for fiscal year 2022-23, which will need to allocate $ 4.46 million for salaries and expenses and $ 10.7 million for a fleet of 25 collection vehicles to expand the cumbersome item collection program.
Councilman Kevin de Leon – who is on the budget and finance committee and was one of the leaders in the effort – said the council’s approval on Wednesday indicates it will be included in the budget.
The Sanitation Bureau currently has nine teams of two people deployed daily to deal with illegal dumping, according to the bureau. The community beautification office also provides funding for loose garbage and waste treatment, and the county offices of the council fund their staffs to take care of this as well.
“Last year, the bureau responded to nearly 30,000 service requests and collected over 15,000 tons of solid waste. Illegal dumping is not just destruction, it has a negative impact on how we see our city, on how we feel about our environment. Therefore, it is simply unhealthy and dangerous, “said Councilman Paul Kurtz. “So if we are really going to deal with this issue, we need to provide the bureau with the necessary resources to do that, and that includes education and enforcement to deter illegal dumping.”
De Leon said Wednesday that when he heard the amount of staff the Sanitation Bureau had to deal with illegal dumping, he thought the number was for his county only.
“This is the largest city, geographically, in all of America, with the second largest city population after New York … and we have nine teams of two people,” De Leon said after Wednesday’s vote. “… it does not require rocket science. We need to double itself.”
With 61 new recruits expected in fiscal year 2022-23, the teams will be doubled to 18 two-person teams, de Leon said. The new employees will also allow the city to expand its cleaning and quick connection program (CARE / CARE +) in encampments.
The proposal also reconvenes the ‘Illegal Impact’ inter-departmental working group, which will consider creating a camera program – including using “dummy cameras” – to address the imposition and collection of fines and other penalties that deter sufficient violations.
The program also calls for a multilingual and multi-platform education campaign on illegal dumping, especially to tell Angelos that they can call 3-1-1 to collect bulky items.
“We need to raise awareness of the importance of clean streets, of the importance of the psychological well-being of Angelos who need and understandably demand to live in a cleaner city,” said Councilman Mitch Oprel.
The vote on Wednesday comes more than a year after Cattle Ron Galperin released a report finding that illegal dumping of garbage and dangerous objects in the city’s public areas increased by 450% between 2016 and 2020. Galperin said the Sanitation Bureau is struggling to keep up. Tossed on sidewalks, streets and alleys, and the debris makes it unsafe for any Angelanus.
The amount of solid waste collected by sanitation teams rose from 9,200 tons in 2016 to 14,500 tons in the first eight months of 2020, according to the report.
The report also said that the resources of the Sanitation Bureau are too meager because it is entrusted with dealing with illegal dumping and cleaning of homeless tents, resulting in the average time it took for sanitation crews to respond to illegal dumping requests in 2020 being five days.
The bureau has 19 surveillance cameras across the city that cover 470 square kilometers to catch illegal street dumping incidents.
Kurtz thanked Galperin on Wednesday for “shedding necessary light on the issue of illegal dumping.”