City Attorney announces task force to combat illegal dumping

South L.A. alleys have been plagued by illegal dumping. | Daina Beth Solomon

South L.A. alleys have been plagued by illegal dumping. | Daina Beth Solomon

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced last week a new task force that will focus on removing waste that is illegally dumped on streets, in alleys and in the L.A. River. The task force will also prosecute offenders.

Along with ten other agencies, the L.A. city attorney’s office is identifying nine chronic dumping spots around the city, including South Los Angeles. They hope to clean up the sites and help communities develop enforcement strategies such as putting cameras in alleyways and encouraging residents to call when they see illegal dumping.

Listen to Feuer’s announcement in a story for Annenberg Radio News

Councilman Parks votes against restructuring trash disposal system

On a 12-1 vote, the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to completely redo the way it disposes of garbage from apartment complexes and businesses in a hope to clean up a situation that some people think is stinky.

Listen to an audio version of this story from Annenberg Radio News: 

The bill was spearheaded by Councilman Jose Huizar. It would restructure garbage collection by giving private haulers one of 11 franchises across Los Angeles. It will also require the haulers to recycle. In the past, trash collectors of businesses and apartments simply dumped all trash in Los Angeles area landfills. [Read more…]

South LA residents deliver trash from foreclosed Watts home

Esperanza Arrizon, Good Jobs LA

imageSouth LA residents determined to hold big banks accountable for cleaning up local communities, delivered trash from a vacant foreclosed home to BNY Mellon, one of LA’s largest holders of foreclosed properties. The action was held ahead of the LA City Council’s scheduled vote on amendments to improve enforcement of city’s blight ordinance.

After a devastating foreclosure crisis caused by greed and recklessness on Wall Street, thousands of bank-owned, foreclosed homes litter LA neighborhoods. These homes – often left unsafe and in disrepair – attract crime, drive down local property values and are a blight on LA’s communities.

imageLA has a blight ordinance that allows the city to collect $1,000 a day from banks that do not maintain their foreclosed homes. To date, LA has failed to collect a single dime from banks violating the law – a lost opportunity to hold irresponsible banks accountable and collect money to rebuild our neighborhoods.

Protesters held up signs reading “Banks Make Bad Neigbors.” One sign claimed banks owe the city of LA almost five million dollars in fines for ignoring the upkeep of foreclosed homes, allowing them to collect trash and centers for criminal activity.

“Big banks are devastating our communities, with blighted houses full of trash, crime, and poverty and taxpayers are covering the cost,” said South LA resident Angelina Jimenez. “It’s time to make the banks clean up or pay up.”

imageActivists collected trash from a home in dangerous disrepair on Wilmington Avenue in the Watts area and delivered three full bags to BNY Mellon’s lobby.

After the event, South LA residents went to city hall, calling on City Councilmembers to approve changes for better enforcement of the blight ordinance and to fine the maximum authorized amount for each bank’s failure to maintain their foreclosed properties.

The protest was organized by Good Jobs LA, SEIU Local 721 and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.