LA’s Latest Anti-Litter Action


Overflowing garbage cans are a serious blight on LA’s buzzing sidewalks, sending trash tumbling into the streets, which can lead to clogged  catch basins and polluted local waterways. But thanks to efforts in Council District 1—an area that includes Highland Park, Echo Park, Westlake, Chinatown and Pico Union—66 solar-powered trash compactors are now hitting litter hotspots and helping to make ugly trash overflow a thing of the past.

Created by a Massachusetts-based company called Bigbelly, each compactor boasts an increased capacity of more than 150 gallons—the equivalent of five typical trashcans. The units also come equipped with technology that sends an alert when they need emptying, allowing for fewer collections.

Bigbelly first landed in LA back in 2011, when, after a push from the Echo Park Trash Abatement Project, Keep Los Angeles Beautiful installed two units  at the corner of Sunset and Echo Park Boulevards . These two units alone succeeded in keeping pt more than 4,400 gallons of garbage off the sidewalk and out of nearby Echo Park Lake in the first year alone. Bigbelly’s compactors have also made their way to sites like MacArthur Park and Downtown LA, with 16 units newly installed along 7th Street between Figueroa and Olive.

As Council District 1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo points out, smarter trash collection isn’t just a win for the environment. With unkempt streets a known deterrent for foot traffic, the City’s 66 new solar-powered compactors could also benefit local businesses, ultimately making for a more vibrant and economically vital community.


Comments (2)

  1. Crystal
    April 1st, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I notice over in the Historical Adams district, the wall of the freeway there is a lot of dumping of furniture, cars parts and cars left for days. People come and park eat, drink, get high and throw everything out of the window. Not just here but all over Los Angeles in residential areas and these people do not live in the area. And actually some people that live in Los Angeles, throw trash in their own yard of the house they live in. At one time it use to be laws that if you created an eyer soar to your neighborhood that someone would come out and have you clean up. But now no one comes and it is getting worse, the smell of Los Angeles is awful the pollution from trash and it causes an rat infestation.
    What can be done about this because it and the value of Los Angeles. Something needs to be done.

  2. Avatar for LA Stormwater
    LA Stormwater
    May 4th, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Dear Crystal: LA Sanitation will pick up illegally dumped or bulky items in the public right-of-way. Visit and look on the main page for the green bar that says Service Request. Under Popular Service Requests you’ll notice Illegal Dumping Pickup. This will take you to a service request form that you can fill out to request the clean-up.

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