Tons of Trash Kept from LA Waters

When it comes to trash, less is usually more. That is unless you are cleaning litter and debris from more than 30,000 catch basins in the City of Los Angeles. Then the sky’s the limit.

In the last fiscal year, LA Sanitation removed a whopping 2,160 tons of trash from LA’s catch basins. In those 12 months, they prevented 4,320,000 pounds of pollution from washing into our creeks, rivers and ocean!

LA Sanitation’s catch basin clean-up is part of an ongoing effort to reduce pollutants in the LA River and Ballona Creek. This year, it is even more crucial as El Niño’s expected storms may easily wash every piece of paper and plastic—as well as hazardous chemicals on our lawns and roadways—into the storm drains and straight out to our rivers and ocean.

While the tonnage collected is impressive, the reality it underscores is disheartening. All of those food wrappers, take-out containers, discarded cigarette butts and waste materials come from our neighborhoods. In fact, storm drain discharges are the primary source of trash pollution in the LA River and Ballona Creek.

Here’s where you come in. Practice these simple tips to help keep our local creeks, rivers and ocean clean and clear:

  • Pick up litter in your neighborhood.
  • Secure the tops of your black, blue and green bins to prevent trash, recycling and yard cuttings from blowing away.
  • Call the LA Sanitation Customer Care Center at (800) 773-CITY (2489) if you see a clogged catch basin.
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