A task force has been formed to begin an effort to deal with illegal dumping on Los Angeles streets and alleys, which contributes to blight, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Thursday, calling the effort a “multi-jurisdictional strike force.”
“Illegal dumping is a scourge on neighborhoods,” he said at a news conference, where he was joined by City Council members Jose Huizar and Curren Price, as well as representatives of several city and county agencies.
“A lot of folks look at this as the cost of doing business,” Feuer said. “We want to drive the cost of doing business up.”
The task force has already produced two criminal cases for illegal dumping in Wilmington, he said, noting charges in separate incidents are being filed against Anthony Menes and Jaime Sosa Guerra. They could face fines of $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
The task force will begin by stepping up its enforcement efforts in the central and northeast San Fernando Valley, South Los Angeles, East Los Angeles and the Harbor.
“Eventually we will broaden to other areas of the city,” Feuer said. “These are the areas with the biggest problems.”
Huizar said people are often repeat offenders, and they “keep doing it because they really haven’t found any repercussions. They just don’t want to pay” to drop off refuse at a landfill or other disposal site.
Board of Public Works President Kevin James said about 65 percent of the calls to the city’s Bureau of Sanitation were about illegal dumping.
Workers collected some 7,500 tons of illegally dropped trash last year, and Street Services issued 2,777 notices over the past two years, he said.
Huizar and Price thanked Feuer for his efforts in attacking a problem that is a constant complaint from community groups.
“These quality-of-life issues are the type of issues our offices hear about every day,” Huizar said. “It’s frustrating when we do as much as we can do and the problem keeps recurring.”
James said his agency is interested in contributing funds to bolster the task force. “Part of what we’re doing is getting the word out that you can no longer just dump things,” he said. “This task force is there to make sure something happens.”
Feuer urged residents to call 311 to report any signs of illegal dumping.
Plans are to hone in on the chronic dumping locations, clean those up and evaluate strategies to maintain the areas so the problem doesn’t re-occur. Enforcement options include installing cameras, working with Neighborhood Watch groups and developing patrols, Feuer said.
City News Service contributed to this report. Click here to access to the original article!