LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – With a growing trash and vermin problem in Downtown Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti is now saying that blame on the homeless community is misplaced.
According to Garcetti, illegal dumping is to blame for the piles of trash that line the streets of Downtown Los Angeles.
“Most of the things we saw in the news recently are from illegal dumping, not from homeless folks, so it’s also important not to blame folks that are living on the streets for everything that we see,” said Garcetti.
When asked if members of the homeless community get blamed for things they’re not doing, Darlene Grey who lives on the streets downtown said, “Yes, we do. A lot.”
Grey told CBSLA she often sees trucks drive through the area dumping garbage in the streets.
She went on to say that the trucks sometimes dump produce, which then rots and attracts rats.
City work crews clean up between 20 and 50 tons of garbage every day from the streets of Los Angeles.
While some of the trash is in fact produced by the thousands of homeless people who live on the streets of L.A., some of it is reportedly due to illegal dumping.
Compliance Officer Gonzalo Barriga oversees the enforcement of illegal dumping in the city and says their reports confirm that trash is being dumped in the streets illegally.
“There are some streets where it is extremely bad. From one day to the next…we may have cleaned at 9 a.m. and the very next morning we could see a pile of tires, a pile of construction debris,” said Barriga.
Garcetti said, “People should not dump illegally…We’re going to prosecute you and go after you if we find you.”