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Poorest Neighborhoods Have The Most Trash On The Street, City Data Shows

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Los Angeles officials made a database documenting street trash in an effort to spruce up our public streets. What they found was that low-income neighborhoods often have the most refuse. The database covers over 9,100 miles of streets and alleyways, according to the L.A. Times. Its purpose is to help sanitation crews prioritize which streets need the most help. The Times found that the database also shows something that's not particularly surprising: compared to wealthier streets, poorer neighborhoods have a lot more trash.

About 4% of L.A.'s blocks require immediate cleaning, while nearly half of all blocks—42%—need some work. Half of these streets are in Central, East and South Los Angeles, while other problem spots can be found in east San Fernando Valley, Venice and Wilmington. Common issues are homeless encampments, illegal dumping and overgrowth. A quarter of the dirtiest passageways are alleys.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's Clean Streets L.A. initiative was approved last March, and came up with a rating system for street cleanliness on a scale of 1-3. A "very dirty" 3 street would be one that contains over 15 pieces of litter per 100 feet of curb. Last April, Garcetti vowed to add 5,000 trash cans to public streets over the course of four years. So far, 300 have been added.

Officials are hoping to have the dirtiest streets will be cleaned up by 2018. Streets will be re-evaluated every three months, and the city will hold monthly meetings to talk with the LAPD and neighborhood and community representatives about how to best keep things tidy. Garcetti said he hopes the data will also help the city figure out "trends, so that we can anticipate services before they are even requested."

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Public Works Commissioner Heather Repenning said she hopes these new tactics will result in a "more equitable deployment of resources so that we are really making an impact on communities that have need."

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