Hot on the heels of Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar’s fight against DTLA’s illegal dumping problem, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that 85 businesses were being cited by health inspectors for storage and trash violations.
Every business cited was in Skid Row, according to the Department.
“County public health inspectors also surveyed 62 blocks in Skid Row and noted locations of overflowing dumpsters, trash-strewn alleys and streets, and rodent burrows,” officials said in a statement addressed to the City of Los Angeles.
Cited businesses will be visited again in the coming weeks, and if the trash problems have not been solved, they could be fined. Public Health also said inspectors would work closely with officials at the City of Los Angeles, who are working to implement their own solutions to sanitation woes.
Illegal dumping could be a factor behind an increase in flea-borne typhus cases across the County. Typhus, which spreads via rodents, has been found in both the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Division and City Hall. Both are just a few blocks away from Skid Row.
Public Health also used the opportunity to advise cities to clean their own neighborhoods, especially where encampments are present.
Public Health guidance for cities includes the following:
- Establish and maintain public sanitation systems, including adequate toilet facilities and associated handwashing stations provisioned with soap, water, and paper towels;
- Establish and maintain a plan for timely identification and subsequent cleaning and disinfection of accumulated feces, urine and other waste; and
- Provide adequate waste receptacles and routine collection services to ensure waste does not accumulate on the ground at and around encampments, which are often used as “cover” for illegal waste dumping by businesses.
- Cities are encouraged to enforce their municipal codes regarding the requirement that commercial businesses have solid waste services in place, and the investigation and enforcement of unlawful depositing of solid waste on the ground.