City crews begin removing massive pile of trash surrounding home in Fairfax District

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024
Crews begin removing massive pile of trash surrounding home in Fairfax
Crews began a cleanup operation at a Fairfax District home surrounded by massive piles of trash.

FAIRFAX DISTRICT, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Hours after Mayor Karen Bass said Los Angeles city crews would begin removing a massive pile of trash that has accumulated outside a Fairfax District home, workers from multiple agencies arrived at the location and began a laborious cleanup operation.

The small mountain of garbage has became an eyesore on North Martel Avenue, just off Melrose Avenue, while prompting concerns about the homeowners well-being.

The property -- covered almost entirely with hundreds of bags full of bottles, cans, clothing and other refuse -- is situated between two multimillion-dollar homes.

The matter prompted a visit from Bass and Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky, along with Department of Public Works workers.

"It's been getting worse and worse, and the smell's been getting really bad, and we've noticed more flies and insects," said neighbor Rebecca Yale.

The issue has been raising questions from residents who live in the area, including, "Why is the homeowner letting this happen?"

The small, single-story house on the property is surrounded by piles trash, some stacked as high as 6 feet.

"I haven't noticed the smell but I have heard of rodents and other animals in the neighborhood," Fairfax District resident Rob Meyerhoff told ABC7. "So I think that's obviously an issue, and I can only imagine what conditions are like for him inside," Meyerhoff said, referring to the homeowner.

City records show the homeowner was fined eight years ago. Conditions at the location improved after that, then began to deteriorate about a year ago.

"I think it's just on a daily basis that the homeowner's just collecting things and putting them in the yard," Meyerhoff said.

Speaking to reporters in front of the home on Tuesday morning, Bass said: "You can expect the city agencies to come out -- L.A. (Sanitation), Building and Safety. You can expect to see them today. And as far as I'm concerned, they will begin removing this today."

Yaroslavsky, standing alongside the mayor, said: "We've been working with the city attorney's office. They're drafting up a statement that this is an imminent public safety and health risk.

"Obviously this is untenable," Yaroslavsky said, motioning toward the pile of trash. "People have said they've seen rats and other rodents. It's a fire hazard."

About 12:30 p.m., city crews began the process of removing the heaps of garbage.

Neighbors have also express concern for the homeowner himself.

"Is anyone taking care of him? Because I'm worried about him," Yale said. "I assume that there's some mental health issues happening to have the house get to this point."

Neighbors have been frustrated for quite some time. They say the homeowner stays in an RV around the corner.

ABC7 spoke exclusively to the homeowner's sister, who lives nearby, and was equally upset at the mess he's left.

"I would hope that he would get rid of it," she said. "Why else collect it?"

The homeowner's sister, Leah, says she and her brother have a strained relationship, but it wasn't always that way. She worries that without a long-term solution it's just a matter of time before it goes back to the condition it's in now.

"Since I bought it at one time and gave it to him, I would really like to get it back so I can fix it," she said. "I can get it in good condition."