March 24, 2007

Trash: city councils just dont get the run off issue

HELLO....can you read? The reason trash ends up in the rivers is two fold:

1. Most people are slobs and feel no guilt in chucking any kind of trash out their car window; (do you think paper cups just blow out of peoples hands? duh)

2. Cities refuse to understand that unless ALL cars are removed from ALL streets before sweeping (parking control issue) and ALL streets are swept ONCE per week, the trash problem will persist. Not only trash but toxic chemicals (oil, anti freeze etc.) that leak from crappy junk cars

Just look at the gutters in Lakewood on major streets near shopping centers. Major streets (or where trash is an issue) should be swept 3x a week.

WAKE UP CITIES!! This puzzle is easy to solve. You (ie the taxpayers) have to clean up after the slobs!!

Long Beach officials talk trash
Environment: Litter in the L.A. River is ending up in L.B.

By Tomio Geron, Staff writer
Article Launched: 03/23/2007

Tons of trash littered in the Los Angeles River end up in Long Beach. Here, the river is shown as it passes downtown. Long Beach City Council members met with Van Nuys officials and environmental experts Friday in a bid to address the issue collectively.(Steven Georges / Press-Telegram )

LONG BEACH - Tons of trash that wind up in the 51 miles of Los Angeles River all end up in one place: Long Beach.

To address the problem, Long Beach Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal and Assemblyman Lloyd Levine of Van Nuys held a forum Friday with local officials and environmental experts to search for solutions.

Lowenthal is interested in working with other municipalities along the river to assist them in their litter prevention efforts.

"If we strengthen other cities, it'll strengthen Long Beach," Lowenthal said.

Many residents have a willingness to stop littering and help clean up, said Melinda Barrett of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

What works to decrease litter, Barrett found, are community-based approaches, including putting up billboards, working with community groups, and educating children through schools.

Many children often educate their parents to the problem, she said.

Lowenthal said the city of Long Beach plans to involve six of its eight comprehensive high schools for two weeks around Earth Day to promote an anti-litter message and incorporate that into science classes and other school activities.

However, a statewide initiative is also
necessary make a strong impact, said Steven Aceti, executive director of the California Coastal Coalition.

"The state needs a comprehensive, highly-funded litter education program," he said. "Cities aren't going to be able to do it \."

Lowenthal emphasized the benefits of partnering between "unusual suspects" to achieve larger gains in stemming the trash tide.

Lowenthal cited the city's partnership with the Aquarium of the Pacific on anti-litter campaigns, which draw on the aquarium's expertise in environmental issues.

In addition to residents who litter, companies that produce packaging and other materials that end up in the water also bear responsibility, said Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste.

"Certainly there's a behavior component, but that's not the primary problem," Murray said. "It's a materials problem. The majority of packaging is paper, but the main litter is plastic. Producers of materials need to bear greater responsibility for it."

Some small changes could help, Lowenthal noted, such as a dry cleaners accepting old hangers or giving cartons for customers to collect the hangers.

Levine said everyone bears responsibility. He said three sources of litter in rivers all need to be addressed: "pre-litter," or source reduction, such as compact disk "long boxes" that were successfully eliminated; consumer level waste, once people buy something, to prevent them from littering; and litter actually in the water.

Levine noted that he proposed a bill last year, which goes into effect this year, to force large stores to collect and recycle plastic bags.

Tomio Geron can be reached at or at (562) 499-1292.

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