For Immediate Release: October 26, 2021
COUNCILMEMBER NITHYA RAMAN’S MOTION CALLING FOR EXPANDED SANITATION OPTIONS FOR ENCAMPMENTS ADOPTED BY COUNCIL
LOS ANGELES -- Today, Councilmember Nithya Raman’s motion to place trash receptacles at homeless encampments was adopted by the City Council. The motion (Council File 21-0773), introduced to address often inaccessible or insufficient sanitation services available to people experiencing homelessness, aims to increase the number of regularly serviced trash receptacles at encampments across Los Angeles. The motion kicks off a pilot program with a new type of receptacle that the Bureau of Sanitation has procured, which the Department believes will be much more effective than the wire basket receptacles previously used for this purpose.
“The sanitation crisis that has unfolded in public spaces across our city has been created in part due to insufficient sanitation options available to unhoused Angelenos,” explained Councilmember Raman. “As we continue to develop and implement sustainable housing solutions, scaling up the sanitation options dedicated to individuals experiencing homelessness can significantly and immediately make public spaces healthier, safer, and cleaner for all.”
The Bureau of Sanitation has been allocated funds to place 1000 standalone trash receptacles around Los Angeles, but it has not indicated how many will be located near encampments -- beyond the estimated 400 that currently exist. Councilmember Raman’s motion directs the Bureau of Sanitation to initiate a pilot program to place new trash receptacles at select homeless encampments and report within 90 days on the performance of the pilot program, resources needed to expand the program Citywide,and recommendations for implementation.
The legislation has seen support from several Neighborhood Councils, such as the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, which stated: “While housed residents of the city may take garbage collection for granted, disposing of trash is harder for unhoused individuals when there are no bins nearby or when bins are not regularly emptied and cleaned.” Citing the expected improved quality of life and reduced risk of fire and other hazards, the Neighborhood Council added, “This motion is a humane and necessary immediate response to the much larger structural crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles.”