Los Angeles wanting to pour millions into ridding the city of trash

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The amount of trash littering some areas of Los Angeles, primarily downtown, have gotten so big, Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to make some major changes.

Garcetti wants to spend more than $6 million to add extra manpower to the sanitation department and put some homeless people to work, along with other resources to clean up the mess.

Sanitation department director Enrique Zaldivar said the cleanliness of the city with the additional resources within a year can make all the difference.

The L.A. City Council has to approve funding for what's being called The CARE program, a program beefing up the number of sanitation teams from 20 to 30. The program also adds hygiene centers, more trash and recycling bins around homeless encampments and a lot more.

Zaldivar said if funding is approved, the program would kick in in October, but he said his department is already stepping up efforts to clean up the streets.

"All 20 of our existing crews are working extended hours, overtime during the week and all of them coming in on Saturdays," he said.

Zaldivar said under the program, homeless people would be employed to help keep encampments clean and liter-free. That would take the burden off of street crews who can then focus on ridding the city of mountains of trash from illegal dumping, which he said equals roughly 80% of all waste the sanitation workers collect.

The CARE program calls for cracking down on illegal dumping by adding more surveillance and enforcement against it.
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