July 22, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Mayor Garcetti cleans up streets, alleys

 (Courtesy Image)
(Courtesy Image)

Mayor Eric Garcetti will officially begin a citywide effort today to clean-up trash, illegally dumped bulky items and other debris cluttering up streets and alleys.

“The cleanliness of our streets, sidewalks, alleys and other public spaces are essential to our quality of life, our economy and our health,” Garcetti said. “That is why this must be a top priority.”

Garcetti will sign an executive directive for his Clean Streets Initiative at an alley where 13 tons of trash were picked up by the city. City sanitation crews will be able to further clean the area of grime.

The directive also calls for putting 5,000 more trash cans around the city, adding to the 1,000 trash receptacles that city officials say are currently out in the streets. Garcetti also wants to deploy Clean Street Strike Teams to tackle areas with severe trash problems and set up a system for monitoring the progress of the clean-up

Garcetti allocated $5 million this year toward cleaning up trash after several years in which trash pick-up programs had been scaled back, and this week, he proposed adding another $4.1 million to the clean-up budget.

The city lost about 250 sanitation employees in recent years, and the cost of cleaning up trash has traditionally cost about $12 million, according to Bureau of Sanitation Executive Director Enrique Zaldivar.

Garcetti first announced his clean-up plans in his State of the City address last week following efforts by other city officials to respond to complaints from residents about the city’s trash-filled streets.

The Los Angeles City Council voted last month to begin creating a citywide approach to cleaning up trash and picking up couches, televisions and other bulky items illegally discarded on streets.

City officials spent the past six months studying the issue, which included examining how other major cities such as San Francisco, New York City and Washington, D.C., handle abandoned waste.

That proposal calls for a more proactive approach to tackling illegal dumping and trash-strewn streets, including deploying a team to scout for trash to pick-up and using data to target “hotspots” of abandoned trash.

The approach differs from the city’s current reliance on a complaint- based system in which residents are expected to dial 311 to report bulky items discarded on the streets. The strategy has fallen short, with some Angelenos not even aware of the existence of a telephone hotline for making complaints, officials said.

City Administrative Office Miguel Santana said it could take several more weeks to develop a plan for carrying out the new strategy. The costs have not been determined, but the hope is to find special funds and sources other than just the general fund, Santana said.

The latest strategies for tackling abandoned trash builds on efforts in City Councilman Gil Cedillo’s northeast Los Angeles district that he says has led to more than 2,500 tons of trash being cleaned up during the last 18 months. Trash was cleared out of 286 alleys, and at least three dozen clean-up events were organized throughout his district, Cedillo said.

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