José Luis Huizar is a member of the Los Angeles City Council representing District 14

Recently I joined with the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) Gary Harris, Estela Lopez from Central City East Association, LAPD Central Capt. Todd Chamberlain and local business representative Jim Bickley to publicize the City’s new program that allows us to more easily fine violators who illegally dump in our streets, alleys and parkways.

The new amended ordinance is primarily designed to go after large-scale offenders, usually businesses or contractors, by allowing the BSS to issue administrative fines based on evidence found to combat illegal dumping, the No. 1 environmental crime in the City and State.

In the City of Los Angeles we spend more than $12 million a year to deal with illegal dumping, and in this tough economy that money could certainly be used elsewhere. As the Chair of Public Works, I helped usher this legislation through and I want to thank BSS and the Board of Public Works Commission for bringing this idea to my committee.

The amended ordinance means we will no longer have to catch perpetrators in the act to effectively go after them. The program allows BSS, or trained organizations, such as Business Improvement Districts or Neighborhood Councils, to gather evidence from a dumping site that links the garbage to an address, business or individual. From there BSS will issue citations in the amount of $500, $750 and $1,000 for successive violations in a 12-month period. After the fourth violation, it will be referred to the City Attorney’s office for prosecution as a misdemeanor offense.

If your organization is interested in getting trained to help enforce the illegal dumping ordinance, please call 311, the Bureau of Street Services or my office for assistance.

Please call the City’s 311 line or any one of my district offices for FREE bulky item pickup. Council District 14 also sponsors a roving bulky item truck throughout the district.