L.A. City Council votes to expand sanitation services for homeless encampments

 David McNew/Getty Images
Photo credit David McNew/Getty Images

The Los Angeles City Council adopted a motion on Wednesday to place more trash receptacles at homeless encampments.

The motion, introduced by Councilmember Nithya Raman, seeks to address insufficient sanitation services available to Angelenos experiencing homelessness. It bolsters a new pilot program implementing a special type of receptacle procured by the L.A. Bureau of Sanitation, which is easier to service and better equipped to contain waste.

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The council has allocated funds to the Bureau of Sanitation for installation of 1,000 new standalone receptacles, a portion of which will be placed in encampment areas. Four hundred are presently installed.

The bureau will report back to the council after 90 days on performance of the pilot program, and inform councilmembers any additional resources needed to ensure optimal implementation.

Introduction of the program comes after a report by LAist uncovered neglectful city sanitation practices in the areas around homeless encampments. Another investigation by L.A. Taco unearthed poor upkeep at temporary portable bathrooms and hygiene stations installed by the city for use by persons experiencing homelessness.

Raman's program enjoys the support of several L.A. neighborhood councils.

"While housed residents of the city may take garbage colelction 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," a statement publsihed by the North Westwood Neighborhood council reads. "This motion is a humane and necessary immediate response to the much larger structural crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles."

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