According to County officials, the legendary L.A. county beaches and its vital rivers double as dumping grounds thanks to thoughtless residents and visitors, according to County officials.
Pet droppings, fast food wrappers, lawn fertilizer, used motor oil and cigarette butts are among the toxins and pollutants that people toss into the street every day. It all goes from the streets into the storm drain system, which carries them to area beaches and rivers, compromising their health and recreational uses.
“If you wouldn’t put it in a swimming pool, don’t toss it into the gutter,” said Melinda Barrett, head of the Public Works Public Relations Group. “The litter and sludge that makes its way through the storm drain system is not only toxic to the environment, it’s detrimental to our health and the health of our communities.”
County trash nets located at the end of the Ballona Creek and the Los Angeles River capture nearly 200 tons of litter each year before it flows out into the ocean.
“Unfortunately, trash nets don’t catch all of the waste that is carried through the storm drain system. Cigarette butts, used motor oil and other pollutants will flow right through our nets into the ocean. Moreover, these nets are designed to break away during a heavy storm, so they don’t compromise flood protection,” added Barrett.
Storm drains carry surface runoff directly to local beaches and rivers without treatment. Used motor oil, lawn fertilizer and paint should never be dumped into storm drains, as they poison both the environment and people.
Trash-filled gutters increase neighborhood pollution and clog storm drains, resulting in street flooding, traffic congestion and property damage. Cigarette butts and other litter are carried directly from streets to local beaches and rivers, harming wildlife and posing a health risk to humans.
Animal droppings left on the ground can be washed down the storm drain system. Pet waste carries disease-bearing bacteria that can damage the health of both wildlife and people.
People who litter or do not pick up animal waste are subject to fines. Illegal dumping carries a minimum fine of $1,000 per day, per violation, up to $100,000 per day, per violation and possible imprisonment. Vehicles used for illegal dumping can be seized.For more information about where to dispose of household hazardous waste/electronic waste and other tips for protecting your health and the environment, please call 1-(888)CLEAN-LA or log on to www.888CleanLA.com.