City Seeks to Respond to Illegal Dumping

Illegally disposed trash billows up on the corner of Towne Avenue and Ninth Street.  

Fines for those found guilty of illegally dumping trash and other materials across city streets have been substantially increased following a vote by the Los Angeles City Council last week. The city council approved an ordinance that triples fines for illegal dumping on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

The new ordinance raises fines to $250 for the first violation, and $500 for the second violation. A third violation can be bumped up to a misdemeanor, alongside a $1,000 fine and possible jail time. The ordinance also allows the city to charge for cleanup costs for illegal dump sites, as well as up to 40% of any administrative costs attributed to scheduling a cleanup.

“If you do business in LA, you are, by law, required to have trash-collection services, and if you don’t and you commit misdemeanor illegal dumping ... you will be subject to a $1,000 fine or six months in jail,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a press conference.

Garcetti said that close to 80% of all trash found on city streets are the result of illegal dumping, 75% of which is linked to local businesses. Close to 40% of illegal dumping, according to city officials, occurs in Downtown Los Angeles. The new ordinance went into effect immediately.