Research by Gavin Glynn

AUG20trash1webAlthough neighborhoods surrounding Washington Blvd. are well cared for by the residents,  you would not know this if you are one of the many drivers using this busiest of streets.

Unsanitary trash cans along the boulevard spill over in both directions like geysers, often filled with leftover food in styrofoam take-out containers.  They are also used by residents living above local businesses who prefer to drop their trashbags in the containers as they leave their residence rather than use the bins in the back of the buildings.    

When Councilman Wesson became the representative for CD10, one of his first community projects was the placement of cages around trees lining the boulevard - along with installing a multitude of trash cans, sometimes as many as three in one block.

Aug20Trash2webBut these trash cans cannot be collected by the Department of Sanitation. Wesson had to use his discretionary funds to hire a non governmental organization (NGO) to pick up the trash.  He hired the Korean Youth Community Center (KYCC) funded by Korean Christians in our community. A well-meaning effort no doubt, but through the years there have been ongoing problems with trash pick-up, sometimes as a result of nonpayment by CD10 for the services.

Recently, after three months of neglect, which included refuse from a burned trash can left covering the sidewalk and unattended for weeks, local resident activist Gavin Glynn reached out to KYCC Director, Steven Kang. Kang shared that CD10  had allowed the KYCC contract to expire and get picked up by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) who create work for people struggling to find jobs.  When contacted, LACC claimed that due to Covid-19, the cleaning had slowed down considerably.  But neighborhood community cleanup volunteers claimed the cans had been festering like this off and on for over a year.

Gavin reached out once more to KYCC director Steven Kang and asked if he could assist in convincing LACC to put Washington Blvd. on urgent status because it had become an urban health crisis. The next day, LACC trucks dumped and changed all the can liners but only along the north side of the boulevard. The refuse left over by cans that had been set on fire could only be handled by the fire department.

Aug20Trash3webCD10 needs more Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).  A business improvement district is a defined area within which businesses agree to pay an additional tax in order to fund projects they agree upon for their area.  The BID is funded primarily through the levy but can also draw on other private and public funding streams. The creation of a BID for Washington Blvd.and other distressed boulevards can provide the money needed to keep our major streets upgraded and cleaned and allow local businesses to determine what changes they would like to see implemented. In November, a new CD10 representative will be elected, and residents hope they bring the kind of serious and thorough attention to local businesses that was missing in the outgoing administration. The creation of local BIDs would be a great place to start.

June 20, 2021 UPDATE:
We now have a new Council Representative for CD10 Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas. He is getting up to speed on our issues but as of this date the trash can overflow continues to be an issue.  


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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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