There’s a trash and rodent nightmare in downtown L.A., and plenty of blame to go around
Excerpt: Elena Stern, spokeswoman for the city Department of Public Works, said the backlog on service calls for trash pickup around homeless encampments sits at just under 8,400 currently. On average, the city gets six calls per site.... “Skid row is the worst it’s been from a sanitation perspective and a safety perspective and a humanitarian perspective,” Lopez said. “It’s easy for me in the cheap seats to say what should or shouldn’t be done, but as a native Angeleno I feel that our city looks and feels mismanaged. When you take the oath to become mayor or a City Council member, your job is to run this city. It’s to manage this city.” When I was at the Ceres Avenue trash pile, I noticed a lot of packing materials, food crates and bins that appeared to be from local businesses. Word on the street, from merchants and homeless people, was that some of the more unscrupulous merchants routinely dump their own trash on the streets or pay homeless people a few bucks to get rid of it for them. The dumping got worse, one merchant claimed, when the city switched to a new recycling system that gave monopolies to companies in each sector of the city.