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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation


Birds pick among the debris that washes through Ballona Creek.

Trash TMDLs

The Trash TMDL requires 10% reduction per year on the discharges of trash to the Los Angeles River and Ballona Creek. The adopted TMDL document requires the first 20% reduction for be achieved by September 30, 2006 and 100% trash reduction to be achieved by September 30, 2015. The City of Los Angeles has started an aggressive effort to achieve trash reduction in accordance with the TMDL timetable. Towards this effort the City evaluated different trash control BMPs, and examined how litter is distributed and is generated within the City, and developed an efficient trash control strategy.

One major consideration in the siting or application of the various BMPs is the spatial distribution of trash throughout the two watersheds. The City conducted a study on trash generation areas within the City, to assist with the selection and placement of the BMPs. The study examined the amount of trash accumulating in the City’s catch basins and observed that there is a great variation within a given landuse. Furthermore, the study identified that a relatively small part of the City generates the majority of the trash. Targeting this small part of the City with effective BMPs will result in a significant trash reduction. Please refer to the High Trash-Generation Areas and Control Measures study.

The City’s strategy involves targeting these high trash-generation areas with institutional controls such as:

  • Anti-littering Enforcement
  • Street sweeping
  • Catch basin cleaning
  • Abandoned trash pick-ups
  • Trash Receptacles
  • Educational anti-littering outreach
  • Community clean-up programs

In addition to the above actions, the City is planning to retrofit approximately 10,000 catch basins, located within the high trash-generation areas, with devices that will prevent trash from entering the storm drain system. The City is also working with Los Angeles County to retrofit about 3,400 County-owned catch basins within these high trash generation areas.

Related Links

Bacteria TMDLs