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L.A. to Crack Down on Illegal Dumping

City, county and state officials on Thursday vowed to prosecute illegal dumping in the San Fernando Valley, South L.A. and the Eastside.
City, county and state officials on Thursday vowed to prosecute illegal dumping in the San Fernando Valley, South L.A. and the Eastside. | Photo: waltarrrrr/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced an effort today to stop illegal dumping in nine trouble spots around the city, saying he plans to prosecute scofflaws.

"Illegal dumping threatens public health and safety, erodes the quality of life in our neighborhoods, and we can do something about that," Feuer said. "Today I'm announcing a multi-jurisdictional strike force -- city, state, county leaders coming together to combat illegal dumping that is scourge in so many of our neighborhoods."

The exact locations of trouble spots in the San Fernando Valley, South Los Angeles, and the Eastside were not disclosed, but officials said they range in size from a small alley to a radius of about 4 miles.

City Councilman Jose Huizar -- whose district includes Boyle Heights and downtown -- said his office gets complaints about illegal dumping and it "often gets frustrating that as often as we do what we can with our current resources, people keep dumping illegally throughout our neighborhoods."

He said some people "keep doing it because they really haven't found any repercussions.

"They just don't want to pay for" dumping their trash at a landfill or other disposal site, Huizar said.

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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.

City workers with the Bureau of Sanitation collected 7,500 tons of illegally dumped trash last year, and the Bureau of Street Services issued 2,777 illegal dumping notices over the past two years, he said.

Feuer filed charges against two alleged illegal dumping suspects.

Three counts were filed against 56-year-old Anthony Menes, who Port Police allege dumped old television frames and parts next to a business on Halloween.

Prosecutors with the City Attorney's Office also charged Jaime Sosa Guerra, 39, Manuel Valesquez, 46, and George Filander, 62, for allegedly dumping wood pallets, plastic engine parts, lumber, and plastic chairs from a truck on Oct. 30.

If convicted, they face up to six months in prison and would be fined $1,000 for each count. Arraigment is scheduled for Dec. 3.

Feuer's crackdown comes more than a week after the City Council approved the "Clean Streets" program, a $5 million plan to clean-up abandoned trash from sidewalks and alleyways around the city. Every month, the Bureau of Sanitation will devote one day to each of the city's 15 council district, and spend the remaining days tackling especially troublesome areas around the city.

The program grew out of a $1 million "Keep it Clean" pilot in the 1st Council District represented by Councilman Gil Cedillo.

That program resulted in 1,000 tons of solid waste being removed from the district, which includes Glassell Park, Highland Park, Elysian Park, Westlake, Chinatown, Lincoln Heights, and MacArthur Park.

The citywide program is in addition to the $3.7 million budgeted this year to clean up the Skid Row area in downtown Los Angeles and $500,000 for clean-up efforts in Venice.

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