LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Businesses that avoid using required trash pickup services could be under more scrutiny through a crackdown on illegal dumping, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today.
``Our streets are not Dumpsters,'' Garcetti said. ``Every Angeleno should take pride in how L.A. looks, and each one of us has a responsibility to keep our city clean and safe. We're adding surveillance and clean-ups and stepping up enforcement against businesses and individuals that act outside the law and put public health at risk.''
Los Angeles business owners without a contract with trash-collection providers can be fined up to $1,000 and receive a six-month jail sentence, per the city's code.
As part of the increased inspection, the city's Bureau of Sanitation is referring 27 out-of-compliance businesses to the city attorney, according to Garcetti's office.
The mayor also announced an expansion of the Operation Healthy Streets zone, a scheduled tactical cleaning program that focuses on trash-affected areas south to Washington Boulevard, calling the area ``a community that has been heavily affected by illegal dumping.''
The bureau will expand its surveillance to night shifts that at times will be undercover. The bureau also will install cameras and lighting and increase the number of city staff members who inspect businesses.
The mayor's announcement follows yesterday's motion made by Councilman Jose Huizar calling for additional resources to address illegal dumping in the city's downtown area, including hiring more crews to increase cleanups.
The motion proposes that homeless and formerly homeless individuals be employed to provide trash and bulky-item cleanup services two days per week, five hours per day. They would work through Chrysalis, a nonprofit employment services program that separately provides trash and street cleaning support to numerous business improvement districts.
Between January and April, the bureau of sanitation reported it collected an average of 228.2 tons of illegally dumped refuse a week, up more than 9% from the same time period last year. The bureau issued 25 citations to people caught breaking the law and dumping waste.
People can report illegal dumping by dialing 311 or submitting a service request by emailing 311lacity.org.