The Los Angeles City Council is calling for an investigation into claims that low income neighborhoods receive lower response rates to calls of trash in the streets. The Los Angeles Times reported that sanitation workers respond more often to calls to pick up things like tires, used diapers and dead animals in more affluent communities than in central and northeast neighborhoods of LA.
The Council says they will give time for the sanitation director to explain and see if the problem is being exaggerated. If the data is correct though, the Council plans to implement structural changes.
The Times found that in Boyle Heights, 30% of requests for cleanup have gone unanswered. In contrast the San Fernando Valley community of Van Nuys, with a similar amount of calls, only had 1% of requests ignored.
Sanitation officials told the LA Times that the data is flawed due to inaccurate computer tracking software. The City Council demanded a report on the disparity in service responses and they could get an answer as soon as next month.
In 2014, Boyle Heights Beat youth reporter Dulce Morales wrote that illegal dumping is one of Boyle Heights’ biggest problems. Morales reported that city officials said they could not keep up with the high volume of trash in the neighborhood.