Barger calls for action on illegal dumping

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – Concerned about the escalation of illegal dumping in the Antelope Valley, Supervisor Kathryn Barger is asking for a coordinated action plan that includes stepped-up enforcement, an assessment of what spending is needed and incentives for residents to dispose of waste legally. Her motion before the Board of Supervisors next Tuesday asks county departments to report back with a plan to the board in 45 days.

“I am very concerned about the increase of illegal dumping, particularly in the Antelope Valley,” Barger said. “Illegal dumping is a blight on the community that erodes the quality of life for our residents.”

Barger’s motion says the cause of the problem is two-fold. A 2007 ordinance adopted by the board requires residents and businesses in unincorporated Antelope Valley communities to pay for trash pickup, or to file as “self-haulers.” However, since the ordinance passed, only one application to be a self-hauler has been filed. The inconvenience of the dumping process has dissuaded residents and commercial entities from following proper protocol.

The second root cause of the issue is enforcement. While county departments have filed notices of violation on land that contains illegal waste, the property owners of such land are not always the party at fault, as they often live out of state or even out of the country.

“There are many possible approaches to solve this problem. Residents should be incentivized to dispose of waste legally and illegal dumping enforcement efforts must be significantly increased,” Barger said.

Barger’s motion asks fellow board members to direct the county Chief Executive Office to convene the Department of Public Works, Department of Regional Planning, Department of Public Health, County Counsel, the District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Department, County Fire, the Illegal Dumping Task Force, and other pertinent county departments to create a coordinated action plan with recommendations to address illegal dumping in the Antelope Valley, as well as other rural areas of the county.

The recommendations, she said, should include a coordinated county-driven illegal dumping enforcement plan, an assessment of existing funding for these efforts and, if necessary, recommendations for the allocation of additional funds and strategies to incentivize residents to dispose of waste legally in a proper setting.

The board meets at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple St. in downtown Los Angeles. Community members can also testify through a two-way video hookup at the Lancaster Library, 601 West Lancaster Blvd.

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