This letter was sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti and has been printed here with permission from the author.
I hope this email finds you well. I know you have your hands full at the moment and thank you for all that you are doing to navigate us through COVID. I appreciate your efforts and can’t imagine the immense responsibility you must feel. While I know you are consumed with so much, I have reached out to various departments regarding the massive increase in trash and litter scattered throughout Los Angeles and have been ignored, so now I am reaching out to you! I am wondering what has changed and how we can find ways to decrease the trash scattered all throughout the city, beaches, hills. It is a real problem and if it is not addressed soon, it will become the norm. Yesterday, I was driving on PCH and trash was blowing throughout the lanes and I thought to myself, when did this become normal? It can’t be. So here I am emailing you to make an effort to see change, as we cannot let this become the new norm. The oceans are being contaminated with trash, the drains are clogged with trash (need new grills to protect), wildlife is eating plastics and things that can kill them, and our children deserve better for their future. We are going backwards, not forwards.
This is a worldwide issue obviously, but every city needs to do its part, and Los Angeles is doing an embarrassing job. The freeways need to be cleaned up and debris needs to be removed (perhaps CalTrans?), as at times they are now dangerous to drive on. The hillsides need to be cleaned up, as trash is just nestled everywhere and potentially could be a fire hazard. Trash bins with proper lids that close should replace bins all along the beach cities because of the intense winds blowing trash out of the bins (i.e. Temescal Canyon). Homeless camps need to be regulated better—they should not be allowed to live under the freeways and start fires (I had to call 911 recently to report one) and literally trash the city. I know you referenced a while back that the trash increase was due to illegal dumping, and that may be part of it, but there are multiple issues and they all need to be addressed. If we do not take care of this planet, we have no back up plan. We need to get this disgusting trash issue under control and stop poisoning beautiful Los Angeles.
Perhaps a task force can be put together to address this dire situation. It’s for all of us and the future of our children.
Cheyne McClellan, Pacific Palisades Resident
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