Let’s Clean Up the Place

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You don’t have to tell most Angelenos that the city of Los Angeles is getting dirtier and dirtier; they can see it every time they step outside.

The trash that litters street curbs and alleys is shameful, but it didn’t get there by itself.

Mayor Erick Garcetti has set aside $9.1 millions for the Clean Streets Initiative, and that’s a good start. But will it be enough? Not likely.

Especially since the Bureau of Sanitation has been given four years to install the 5,000 new trashcans called for in the clean streets plan.

That’s right, it will take four years for all the trashcans to be in place!

The city, with only 1,000 trash cans today, already lags far behind most other big cities in this area and taking four years will likely result in the city just keeping up with what is now a quickly worsening condition. EGP believes the mayor should speed up the trashcan roll out time frame.

It really frustrates us when we see city employees who daily pass by dumped couches, TVs and furniture, but the dumped items remain because city employs have not been specifically directed to report the dumped items either by phone or on their Ipads, which many employees now have.

Now, the Mayor’s initiative, modeled on a program started in Councilman Gil Cedillo’s first district, calls for the sanitation department to deploy a strike team to conduct targeted clean ups in areas of heavy dumping; it’s about time.

The initiative also calls for the city to develop a data-driven system to measure street cleanliness, or on the flip side, the dirtiest streets by the end of the year.

We hope city workers will get on board and take time to volunteer on strike teams in our neighborhoods.

That includes police officers who too often look away when someone litters, seeing it as a low-priority crime. The accumulation of trash created by these seemingly unimportant actions, have an expensive and detrimental impact on quality of life in neighborhoods already suffering from overcrowding, lack of open space and other dwindling resources. It’s been well documented that neglect and trash are too often precursors to crime in low-income areas.

The city should also prohibit residents from leaving their trashcans on the street after collection day.

Los Angeles residents also need to do their part, and we don’t mean by complaining. Take the time to call the city’s 311 number if you have a bulky item to be picked, or to report when items have been illegally dumped in your neighborhood. The city should step up outreach to explain the program to residents.

And in case you think you are off the hook because you don’t live in the city of Los Angeles, think again. Most cities have similar programs and residents should take full advantage of them and become active in keeping their neighborhoods clean. In unincorporated areas of the county, the number to call is 211.

So now, let’s all get together and clean up the place.

Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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