LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- About 673 pounds of illegal fireworks were collected Saturday during the city of Los Angeles' second annual fireworks-buyback event in Mission Hills, a 31% increase over last year's event.
Los Angeles police and fire department personnel were on hand to accept the fireworks in an effort to reduce the use of illegal pyrotechnics on the Fourth of July.
"There were teachers that had confiscated these fireworks from their students, parents -- while the kids were at school -- went and brought these fireworks over to us,'' said officials in the office of Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who hosted the event.
She also noted that fireworks not only present a fire and safety danger, but the noise from the devices can be traumatic for animals, seniors and veterans.
In exchange for the fireworks, Starbucks, Target and gas gift cards and tickets for a Dodgers game were given out. The gifts were determined by the weight of fireworks that were dropped off.
Rodriguez, along with the police and fire departments, offered the buyback from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Brand Park. She said a similar event last year resulted in people surrendering 514 pounds worth of fireworks ahead of the 2021 holiday.
"We understand the Fourth of July is an excellent time to enjoy and celebrate with families and friends, and we understand that historically fireworks are a big part of that. We get that,'' Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott said during a news conference in Mission Hills to announce the buyback program.