Clean Streets Initiative aims to clean up graffiti, trash across LA

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
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The Clean Streets Initiative aims to abate graffiti and clean up the piles of trash dumped on sidewalks and in alleys across the city of Los Angeles.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Mattresses, tires, and a toilet are just a few of the items that were dumped in an alley near 74th Street in South Los Angeles.

"Physically, it's an eyesore, it's a health hazard and it's a situation that is just not going to be tolerated," City Councilman Curren Price said.

The poorer areas of the city see more filth, trash, graffiti and illegal dumping, according to a new database that analyzes trash on L.A. streets and alleys.

"It's just been a failure to really properly clean and manage these areas," Price said.

But the Clean Streets Initiative aims to change that.

For months, crews have been hauling out trash and wiping out graffiti in hopes of creating an environment people will enjoy living in and bringing business to.

"We have to change the physical environment. That also helps us change the mental environment," Price said.

About seven tons of trash will be taken out of the alley but what's frustrating, officials say, is that crews cleaned the same garbage-filled alley just six months ago.

Supervisor Russell Zamora says educating the community is a big part of the initiative.

"If they understand our program and the services that we offer, it may help to cut down on a lot of this, just throwing away stuff wherever," he said.

Poorer neighborhoods are also victim to illegal dumping.

"People come in from other areas and they'll dump trash and they'll dump debris because they think no one cares," Price said.

City officials say it's time for communities to care, take back their neighborhoods, report illegal dumping and take advantage of the city's free trash removal services.

"We offer bulky item collection -- all it is is a phone call and we'll come on your trash day," Zamora said.

City officials hope to have the graffiti and trash cleaned up from the streets of L.A. by 2018, but they need community residents to help keep the area clean.

Angelenos are encouraged to call 3-1-1 to get trash picked up from their streets or to report illegal dumping. Visit for more information.