LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Illegal trash dumping has gotten to be such a major headache, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti held a news conference warning violators to knock it off or else.
Garcetti said the city will not tolerate illegal dumping on the streets of L.A., including businesses that use public streets, spaces or alley ways as their private dumping ground.
He said violators will face fines of up to $1,000 or maybe jail time. He also said the city attorney could be going after nearly 30 businesses to enforce the requirement of paying for and maintaining trash service.
"Mom-and-pop businesses either let go of this trash hauling service after a few months because it was too expensive, or they simply didn't sign up for all the service that they really need," said Estella Lopez with Business Improvement District.
Lopez said things went from bad to worse with illegal dumping when the city scrapped the old way of hauling out trash well over a year ago. She said under that system, people could bid for the best price for trash service from a range of different trash-hauling companies.
Under the new system, they have to work with a union franchise hauling service designated to pick up trash in their specific area.
Lopez said the cost of trash-hauling service escalated upwards of 400%, leaving some small businesses opting out of using the service.
Business Improvement District officials said between 2017 and 2018, there's been an 11% increase in illegal dumping in the industrial district in downtown L.A.